Ok so we’re getting a bit deep in this little piece today. Firstly, let me just say that I haven’t slept all night and have to cancel some important things today so I can sleep, when I finally get it that is. It sucks. I hate when this happens.
But it’s alright, I work from home on my own time so I can sleep and get up whenever I want. Anyway, lets dive into this topic.
The first thoughts that are running through my head right now are lyrics by Thom Yorke,”I’m trying to be a thought killer”. Ok well I listen to a lot of music so I do get lyrics in my head a lot but that’s alright. Thoughts are basically not you. Read that again. Thoughts are not you. Conversely you are not your thoughts.
The basic problem with people is that people think that thoughts make them. I don’t care what Buddha said,”Thoughts make you…” and all that bullshit, but I have to disagree with him. So I repeat – YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.
What is a thought? It’s a electrical signal in the neurons of your brain. That is all.
I’m not going too much into the details of the biology behind it.There is a lot and I’m not an expert but my uncle Dr. Raja Parasuraman was. He was a professor in the department of Psychology at the George Mason University in the United States. Sadly he passed away last year.
He was perhaps one of the smartest men from my family, on my Dad’s side.
“Raja was an incredible scholar,” she says. “Perhaps more importantly, though, he was an incredible mentor, both to students and his colleagues. He led by example, and he set the bar high.”
Parasuraman studied human factors—how humans interact with machines—and cognitive neuroscience, which considers how the physiological structure of the brain affects our ability to acquire knowledge and understanding.
In particular, he looked at how human attention, memory, and vigilance affect performance when people work with automated and robotic systems.
He coined the term “neuroergonomics,” which he defined as understanding the mind by studying the brain (neuroscience) and understanding the mind in relation to work and technology (ergonomics). His research included work on automation, aviation, and aging, and it considered how theoretical principles concerning human interaction with mechanical systems could be applied to solving practical problems.
Here is a small write up about him, do check it out.
And here are some of his books
May his soul R.I.P – We miss you Raja Peripa.
But you get the point about a thought. It’s a chemical reaction in your brain. So every single thing you experience these “emotions” “feelings” and further “love”, “happiness” “sadness” etc the whole shebang basically and these words that you give every single experience inside of you is nothing but a signal in your brain.
These should give you a basic idea of how the brain works. Again I’m not going into the details of them but they are essential to your understanding of what I’m talking about.
For those of you who don’t want to read about these terms, as it does get very technical. This picture breaks down what your mood really is
As you can see Dopamine, Serotonin and Noreprinephrine are the essential chemicals that keep you functional.
So the next time you get a mood swing, you know what’s happening.
There is a funny picture as well that I like, here it is. These two chemicals Dopamine and Serotonin are technically responsible for all your positive experiences.
When there is not enough produced in the brain that’s when you experience the bad stuff.
Now that you have understood this. Let’s move on to more about thoughts.
Thinking is important for all our activities. Further, it is even more important and paramount that we regularly exercise our brain. This planet is filled with strong, dumb motherf***ers, lets be honest. People are more worried about the outside than the inside. When really it’s far more important to excercise your brain.
What are good ways to excercise – Meditate, Read, Write, Solve problems(Math, Sudoku, Crosswords)any puzzle for that matter, Look at photographs, Remember Capitals of Countries, Study – these are just basic things. Do anything that keeps your mind occupied.
Now coming back to thinking.
Traditionally, Buddhism and meditation are ways to train your mind to not think. I’m not saying don’t think at all, that is nearly impossible for a lot of people. The theory is – If there are no thoughts then there is no suffering or something along those lines. Keep your mind blank and still “Sthir” in Hindi.
What is a trick to do this? Yoga says – Focus on your breath. Watching your breath is the easiest way to quieten your mind.
But what I use but often forget is to picture a water body because well I get bored observing breath. I’m a restless guy and mind by nature. I’m a more imaginative, visual type of person. So what I do is I picture any water body – A waterfall, or a river, or a lake or any sort of flowing water body. I was meditating for 3 months straight for 1 hour in the morning at one point of time at a place I was in for a while as per the place’s yoga schedule. And they told us to not think, but thoughts come. So I found my own little technique based on what I loved the most in nature. Water. Suddenly I would just not think of anything at all, except a flowing stream of water.
As Bruce Lee said, ” Be water my friend”.
Most people get a lot of thoughts. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That’s incredible. Women think more than men and often hence suffer more. I cannot find it anywhere now but I have read it in my Mom’s yoga magazine.
Hell we are such a complex species that we get a thought and then think about that thought and so goes the “feedback loop from hell” as put by Mark Manson.
Read that article here.
He’s quite a funny guy I’ll tell you that.
So coming back.
The trick is to quiet down the “Monkey Mind” as put by buddhist monk Mingur Rinpoche whom I follow on youtube. He says “watch breath” while I say “be water” which is just my way of meditating that I’m sharing with you’ll.
Now, coming to unwanted thoughts – Ughh, I hate those. We all do, we all get them. Whatever they are weird or absurd or downright ugly. DO NOT RELATE TO THEM. That is the trap that sets you on a downward spiral of negative thoughts.
Ofcourse you can’t keep picturing the water stream and I forget as well..
IN ALL SITUATIONS DO NOT THINK ABOUT THEM TOO SERIOUSLY.
They are just stupid thoughts, let them go.
An alternative. Be a watcher. That’s right be a watcher of your thoughts. Just picture yourself in your head, watching your thoughts but not reacting to them. This is a little difficult, so I would advise the water trick.
Not associating with your thoughts is paramount to health and happiness. Just let them go. Everything in life comes to go, just like the waves, just like your breath, people, everything and so are your thoughts. THEY COME TO GO. LET THEM GO.
And if you are stuck up on a thought or multiple thoughts, cut that shit out immediately, it’s stupid and doesn’t help at all. Just play some music or again imagine water.
The trick with imagining water is to not imagine yourself or other people but just water by itself. I like to zoom in and just picture it just flowing.
Alternatively, if you can’t then question them like “Why am I thinking like this?” “What is going to come out of thinking like this?” “Obviously, thinking like this is not at all going to help me, so fuck it”
The ability to say “Fuck it!” will get you very far in life. The trick to not giving a fuck is very important because honestly focusing on your inner self is much more important than all the bullshit you think about. Of course not to everything in life, but yeah most of it haha
“Oh I thought this…” “Fuck it” Simple. Case closed. Matter ended.
Thoughts about other people(this is mainly for teens but some adults also never learn) – “Does she like me?”/”Does he like me?” Who gives a shit what other people think about you? Whether they like you or they don’t is not your problem it’s theirs. Fuck that. Do your own thing. The ones who like you will, the ones who want to associate with you, will, despite all your shortcomings, the ones who envy you will, the ones who don’t give a shit about you won’t. People love to hate. It’s what keeps them going. Who cares? Do your thing. Don’t worry about all this, it’s utter garbage.
Humans will be humans though and this will keep happening. But hey honestly if you ask me, thoughts about what other people think of you are a waste of time. I’m not saying don’t lack empathy, but just don’t give a shit about other’s perception about you and most of your problems are solved.
Most people hate my guts, haha well who gives a shit? Except of course the genuine ones.
Be cool with it. It’s a part of life.
Learn to let your thoughts flow, good bad or ugly and don’t think about them and try to identify and say ‘this is me’ or ‘this is so not me’ or whatever. You are your soul not your thoughts. Identifying with them just leads to a downward spiral and a path to negativity.
The soul is what illuminates us with the light of life.
The moment the mind and soul are not one as ancient texts say that’s when thoughts become your master. Because a good soul will never think negative it’s only our mind which does so, and of course this achieving this equilibrium is very difficult.
I prefer to focus on the energy within the center of my chest while meditating rather than anywhere else.
Anyway do as you wish. It’s your head and your little party up there. Make it a peaceful and good one and not a bad one.
I listen to a lot of music because – I love it, it’s my passion, I barely think and lotsa dopamine hehe 🙂
Remember – Thoughts come to go. Let them go. And do not associate with them.
Priorities – Your Peace of Mind comes first above all else.
Be in control of your mind at all times and not a passenger to it’s whims. Remember the greatest battle is always within. Do not succumb.
Become the master.
The aim of the game is to not think and hence feel good.
All this is easier said than done though.
And I am no zen master or whatever but hey I get by. Haha 🙂
Peace out people.
Have a good one.
Cheers ! 🙂