We become what we think about all day long. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are days that we all feel less than. › Less than normal, less than perfect, less than where you want to be. You know, those days where everything seems to be off or going wrong. A cloud of disillusion hangs over your head and maybe you struggle a little harder to just make it through to the end of the day. A few weeks ago, this exact feeling happened to me. I was feeling the stress of work and life and was having the worst kind of day where everything fell to pieces. By the end of the day, I was faced with the following options:
a) Go blow off steam after a long day and douse undesired problems with alcohol – what do you think happy hour is about?
b) Crawl back into bed and curl under the covers – proceed to hide out until I receive the all clear sign from the universe.
c) Pretend that nothing is wrong and walk around not facing reality or my feelings.
d) Acknowledge the day and my emotions and realize that this it’s just a phase that I will get through intact.
Now, every option above is viable and millions of us choose one or the combination of a few just to make it through. However, I wisely chose d because I’ve learned over time that even when things are swirling out of control, the one thing that I have the ability to control are my thoughts. You know, those pretty little bits of information that swirl around in your mindspace informing each and every choice you make.
People are as happy as they make their mind up to be. – Abraham Lincoln
The real problem was that I felt out of control in a situation that involved other people. I was being bombarded by their toxic words and ideas which then led to me internalizing their negativity. Importantly, I knew there was no way to get inside their head and change their mindset so I had to start with the only mind that I could consistently change. My own. There’s a Brazilian Girls song based on a 17th century German poem titled “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” which translates to Thoughts are Free. It costs me absolutely nothing to decide to mentally remove myself from a situation that I have no control over. While others complain about their day or about what someone did to them, I choose not to adopt their venomous attitude.
Most people don’t even realize how poisonous the act of constant complaining is. They feel like they’re venting (which is completely fine the first time you do it) but people who constantly vent about the same thing without actively incorporating a solution are just participating in a form of emotional masturbation. They either want others to join in on their misery or to agree with them that life is terrible so that their feelings of injustice are reaffirmed. Mind you, we tend to do this subconsciously.
Listen, we relate to everyone and everything on this planet through the act of thought. The quality of our life should not be based on other’s actions/words but on how we choose to process the world in our thoughts. Even when simple propaganda infiltrates our consciousness, whether it’s in the form of commercials, talk shows, family, friends, etc – it’s always important to inform your own opinion,have your own feelings and not just blindly follow what’s being placed in front of you. Don’t be a victim of mental piracy – choose your thoughts wisely.
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