For happiness, don’t believe everything you think…

For happiness, don’t believe everything you think…

via the Huffington Post by James McRae

The average person thinks between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. These thoughts range from the mundane — I need to buy milk, to the significant — I love you, to the self-destructive — I’m not good enough. In the moment, our thinking seems logical. But when we examine long patterns of brain activity, it’s clear that thoughts can be unstable and often arbitrary, shifting depending on context and contradicting our better instincts. Yet humans usually form our personal identities around the things we think. The result is a scattered sense of self that drifts as the wind blows.

But you are not your thoughts. You are the consciousness (the ocean) from which your thoughts (the waves) arise. The human capacity to think (while great in comparison to other living creatures) is incredibly susceptible to error. Cognitive bias, false assumptions, misinformation, Ego and limited beliefs are just a few patterns of unhealthy thought that interfere with our judgement.

“I think, therefore I am,” René Descartes said in the 17th century. But modern science and psychology have revealed a deeper truth about the way we think: “I am, therefore I think.”

Controlling your thoughts is the first step to a happier, healthier mind. Below are five tips to maximize productive thinking and minimize mental clutter.

1) Don’t identify with mind. Be the observer.

Instead of reacting to everything that you think, become an unbiased observer of your thoughts. When bad thoughts arise, say, “It’s interesting that I think that.” When good thoughts arise, say, “It’s interesting that I think that.” As an unbiased observer of your thoughts, you remain in control and non-reactionary. Don’t identify with the waves. Be the ocean: still, unmoving…

…keep reading the full and original article HERE