You have about 17,000 thoughts a day. But a large portion of these thoughts spring up unconsciously.
Your busy mind, or ‘monkey mind’ as it’s described, likes to tell stories about stress. It likes to label things and put them in boxes. Eg ‘That’s a stressful thing. That’s a difficult thing. That’s a happy thing.’
When it’s in boxes, it makes it easier for your monkey mind because it knows which AUTO-PILOT script and old habitual behaviours to run.
The problem is that we believe these stories. We believe eg ‘this is happy, difficult etc.’ We feed the thoughts that support those beliefs. We tend to jump to conclusions, make judgements, put things into neat boxes when they are often far more complex.
Life is an objective, sensory experience, until you label it and attach the event to a story. As soon as you label or put an experience into a particular box, you lose your flexibility and choice over how you respond.
The experience is automatically connected to your body’s chemistry set, ie an experience triggers hormones and chemical reactions that impact your physiology and emotions. So a fear-based reaction will trigger the body’s stress response. The label – the story – impacts every cell of your body without you doing a single thing consciously.
But it’s all a fib. ‘Life’ isn’t stressful. The stories we tell ourselves about life create the stress. It is believing your thoughts that causes the pain.’
So ask yourself, ‘Is it really stressful? Or am I just telling myself it is?’
Adapted from Clare Josa