I used to take my thoughts seriously, like really seriously. As a recovered over-thinker most of the thoughts that popped into my mind would get a lot of attention. When I felt anything but happy, I would have a reoccurring thought that asked, “Why do I feel this way?” Then I would start the search party for possible reasons of why I felt the way I felt. It was a dangerous game of: I think it’s because of this…..or that…….or actually, it’s probably this….Then I’d make it even worse by calling a girlfriend and asking her opinion of why I was feeling the way I was feeling. That’s when the story would get really juicy! The problem with always trying to find the answer was that I always already thinking a certain way and by giving that thought more attention, it grew stronger.
I would produce more thoughts of the same kind making it look like the answer was on the outside.
When you think the answer is on the outside, you start fearing the things around you because you think those things could be responsible for your experience.
When you start to see that your experience of life is created through your thinking, not by the things around you, you stop fearing your experience.
This is where being mentally unemployed comes in. Oh, the freedom! When you realize thoughts are just thoughts, always fluid and always changing, you gain the mental freedom you were longing for by simply not taking them seriously.
Being mentally unemployed allows you to:
1) See that thoughts arise within you. That you have no control over the thoughts that cross your mind, but you do have control over the thoughts you give your attention to. You realize that not every thought needs your attention. For example, a thought arises and instead of reading into it causing subsequent feelings to arise, you simply see it for what it is and as a result, it goes.
2) It allows you to be free from your thinking. If negative/ weird/ anxious thought arise and you learn to not take them seriously, you laugh or smirk at the ridiculousness of them versus feeling them.
3) It allows you to enjoy life more moment to moment rather than waiting for your Friday, your holiday, or your insert whatever you’re waiting for because you’re living more in the moment rather than in your head.
4) You have more peace because you know better. Even though those loud sometimes disturbing thoughts come up you see and feel a sense of peace because you know it’s not real. You know it’s not coming from a place of wisdom and clarity so you don’t buy into it.
5) You stop sweating the small stuff because you know when you are, you’re just caught up in your thinking of how it should be and you know that thinking shall pass.
6) You’re happier. Let’s face it- when you’re not in your head wondering whether you made a good first impression or whether you said the “right” thing you’re genuinely happier because…well, because you just are!
7) You don’t spend too much time in the past replaying painful memories that upset you because you know that past is only alive when you re-employ those thoughts. You don’t spend too much time in the future playing out what ifs causing anxious feelings because you’re unemployed, remember?
8) You stop over reacting! Because you’re not taking thoughts seriously you let them sort bounce off you eliminating what would have been a strong reaction to something, disrupting your own inner peace and usually those around you!
How would your life be different if you allowed your thoughts to come and go without stopping to question them?