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Old 04-29-2016, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do we control our thoughts or do our thoughts control us.


Generally speaking our thoughts control us, but we can learn to be the ones in charge.
Our thoughts do control how we view the world, which in turn determines how we interact with the surrounding world.
This doesn't have to be bad, but usually is because of the experiences we had and the lessons we learned, since there are more big negative experiences than there are big positive ones.

Basically, every experience we had leads us to view life in a certain way, this view causes thoughts to arise which determine the way we interact with the world.
So, to sum it up, you interact with the environment depending on the experiences you had.
Now, we can make that work for us by interjecting at any point in this line-up!

We can control what we experience by following the positive ones and getting rid of the negative ones, which in turn affects the way we view the world and therefore, how we think about it.

We can also control how we view the world and what we believe by looking for evidence of the beliefs we want to hold, and by faking it until we make it, which, again, affects the way we think.
Lastly, we can directly affect our thoughts by letting go of them or choosing to think about something different.
You can think about whatever you desire right now, about dogs, cats, humans, the way the world works or the purpose of life.
The problem does not reside with the conscious thoughts, but with the subconscious thoughts that control us.
To deal with those we have to get in the practice of consciously thinking about the things we want our subconscious mind to think of.

For example: If you think, every day, how ****** and horrible your life is, then the pathways in your brain will strengthen, which means that more activity is centered around those areas, both subconsciously and consciously, which means you will be more inclined to think about negative things since the pathways are faster to travel.
Let's put that in a better metaphor: Your thoughts are like cars driving on roads. Now, the more cars, or thoughts, travel to a certain area, the better it will be if that road gets bigger, and that is exactly what your brain does.

So by choosing to think about positive, empowering and amazing thoughts, we strengthen those roads, meaning that they will become the highways in our brain, and will be used a lot more by all thoughts.
________________________________________
To answer this question with all of this information, I would say our thoughts control us, but we can control what thoughts we want to have to control us.

Basically, we elect the thoughts that have the most say in how we interact with the world, but ultimately it is the thoughts that control the way we act.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well... it's both, in my experience.

thoughts control me when I allow thoughts to take control.

when I am present, aware of my thoughts, and observing their impact on me.... then I am able to choose whether to allow my thoughts to own my response and my body and my emotions.....

when I am present and aware of my thoughts, I am able to choose other thoughts. I am able to respond to my thoughts. I am able to choose to let go of thoughts..... I am in a position, then, to choose how thoughts will or will not impact me.

it's only when I'm on 'auto pilot' and letting the thoughts lead onward to other thoughts in a spiraling chain of thinking that those thoughts begin to control me.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can't argue with this; I used to think this was stupid, but experience has proved me wrong.

I used to let my thoughts run away like a big dog dragging me on a leash. Negativity would snowball until my life was a miserable disaster. I never questioned my thinking and believed I was just being "realistic".

Watching my thinking and learning that I can be the one in control of those thoughts has made a huge difference in my outlook on life and on my degree of happiness.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do agree that being mindful and conscious of our thoughts gives us the power to clake different or better choices in our actions and reactions.
I think there is circumstances where we lose a lot of power over our thoughts. Mental illness, brain damage, disorders, trauma are some things that come to mind. Sometimes we need the help of medication and therapies to try and live our best and most mindful lives.
Sometimes we have to learn to make the best of bad circumstances but dealing with some issues are a little deeper than mind over matter.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The day I discovered that my thoughts did not control me, was a huge step forward in recovery. I was convinced that I had no choice but to hold onto the thoughts drifting through my mind and follow them and that was who I was. But, you don't need to hold on to specific thoughts. You can feel them and let them go. You have the power to find peace within your soul and to go to that place when you need to be calm.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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my thoughts are like the plants that grow in a garden .

I make sure the soil is as accommodating as possible .

I tend and nurture the good and weed out the bad ones , it takes time to uproot some , sometimes it shoots up again . with persistence and perseverance my mind dwells in a reasonably good space

Bestwishes, m
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmmmm, I'll have to think about this.....
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great thread! Can I ask what you all do to channel your thoughts in a positive direction instead of veering to the negative? For myself, I had 2 months free from alcohol recently. The morning I woke up that I drank I had no intentions of it. It was if the day and life got away from me. Things happened that negatively effected my mood and next thing I know I have a bottle in hand. Because that's what I've done for years to deal with negative things.

Obviously there were steps that led to buying a bottle, but looking back I believe the whole day could have gone differently if I'd learned to channel that energy differently into a positive.

Awesome insight!
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We don't think ourselves into a new way of acting, we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.

That never made much sense to me. Now it does.
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