“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore—plays in defining the quality of our life.” – Cal Newport
A lot of our unhappiness is not solely from the occurrences of our life, but from the story the mind tells you about those circumstances.
There are two parts to this cycle where negative thoughts can hinder us. The first is the actual event or happening; pain we experience here is due to external situations that we are unable to control [or avoid]. Getting sick, loss of loved ones, getting into conflicts, losing our job, experiencing grief etc.
The second has to do with our reaction to the event; our thoughts. When we react negatively, blaming, shaming, aversion, getting angry and upset, we set off the suffering of the second part. It is our thoughts that make us re-live (and keep reliving) an experience that only ever happened once.
Reduction of suffering (emotional and physical) and the increase in vitality and full life potential is inherent in the yoga philosophy. A yoga routine that incorporates meditation works on increasing one’s awareness of the present as opposed to resisting or attempting to avoid uncomfortable and negative thoughts.
So even though we can’t control the circumstances, we can control how we respond to them. We can choose not to get stuck in a frenzy of unnecessary negative thoughts that have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health, and direct that energy instead into growing our awareness. When we grow the power of awareness within ourselves, the mind begins to lose its ability to make us unhappy.
Realize that certain thoughts are bad for you. Become still and start observing your thoughts. Direct your attention elsewhere. Withdraw consciousness away from worry and unnecessary mindsets. Thoughts cannot survive if you take attention and consciousness (their life stream) away from them.
Create space for you to breathe and feel your aliveness. Remember that you are not the narrative of your mind. You are consciousness itself, the intelligence that pervades your body and holds it together.
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