What are those thoughts that suddenly enter our heads and cause our mood and behaviour to change? What do we do when that happens?
Hi Thinking Mechanics,
Let's get straight into it for this week’s perspective on how we can improve our thoughts. We hope it helps to inspire you and your thinking.
The Thinking Mechanics crew were walking along one sunny day when suddenly a thought came in (from apparently nowhere) that seemed to overwrite all the other thoughts. The result? Our mood in a fraction changed which then made us feel really frustrated. Hold on a minute - what is goin' on 'ere? It all happened so quickly. Almost like a grenade suddenly appearing and panic stations setting in.
Let’s set some context around this real quick.
As we have embarked on this journey of building the Thinking Mechanics community (that’s our dream) we ourselves have become a lot more mindful of our thoughts. We are very in-tune with the thoughts we are having. This means that when we suddenly experience a rogue grenade thought like we did on that day we pick up on it straight away. The thought that appeared was simply this;
“Are you really going to make anything of this thing [referencing to Thinking Mechanics]?”
It wasn't so much the thought we first picked up on but it was the sudden mood change. It was like a grenade suddenly appeared in our head and our mood and emotions went crazy, shouting “grenade, fire in the hole!”. So, we thought, hold on - stop this - we need to take charge.
We doubt very much that we are the only ones that experience these (self named) thought-grenades so we felt it would be good to write about it so to offer some help based on what we did to ensure we threw the grenade out to go and blow up somewhere else!
The first thing we have come to understand as a truth at Thinking Mechanics is that we decide what thoughts we allow our brains to think. Thinking Mechanics is predicated on the notion that “your mind doesn't know what to think, it will believes whatever you choose to tell it”. Thought grenades appear in our heads all the time - we may not be aware enough to know that. We talked about this in our Food For Thought post which talks about how we should manage what thoughts we have like how we would judge what food we put in our mouths.
We realised that thought grenades are not one off thoughts. By their nature they are most probably thoughts that have come and gone many times in the past. It is the repetitive cyclical nature of them that allows them to be labelled with the grenade moniker. As they come back and forth - freely entering our heads - belief is then slowly tied to the thought until it becomes "real" to us. Conversely we seem to have a harder time assigning the same level of belief to thoughts that ultimately help by empowering us to complete goals, improve our life and ultimately help us work towards achieving our most prized dreams.
One thing we have learnt is that when you do decide to improve your life and you get over the summit of the metaphorical belief mountain to start doing something about changing your life [what we are doing at Thinking Mechanics right now] then thought grenades will increasingly be thrown into your head. We are going to write about this separately as it relates to “detoxing your life”. We have to deal with the grenades when they appear. So what do we do? Well, below is the process we went through at Thinking Mechanics that helped to disarm the grenade and throw it away;
Catch the thought. That one that entered and immediately changed your mood/perspective/attitude. What was it? Be utterly truthful and candid with yourself. What was that thought?
What is the very opposite of that thought? The thought grenade we had at Thinking Mechanics was “you are not going to make anything of this” so to turn that around to its opposite we stated to ourselves:
“No matter what, we will do what we know and believe in. We have as much opportunity as anyone else and it is up to us to take daily action steps towards our beliefs, goals and dreams”
Now, it is really important to say your “ thought opposite” out loud. Say it with your mouth and say it over and over again until you notice that the emotions and state your thought-grenade put you in starts to dissipate.
Then, immediately do something that you know makes you feel and think happy...anything. For the Thinking Mechanics team it was to listen to the streamed radio station of music similar to what Bethel Music produce. It's empowering, beautiful and immediately puts us into a better state.
We understand that if you have never managed your thought-grenades the above set of tasks can seem a little futile, almost pointless. Truly, we get that because for so many years the Thinking Mechanics crew “suffered” untreated thought grenades all the time and felt that there was no way to deal with them. Well, there is. Like a real grenade, you can simply throw it away. Neurologically we can do what we would do with a real grenade...get rid if it...throw it as far away from ourselves as possible. Then ensure to replace it with a thought that won’t make you go hurtling off for cover but instead empower you along your journey.
We hoped that has helped you deal with any future grenades. Here is to healthy thinking!
Until the next time - think well and think good.
Blessings from Thinking Mechanics