Our minds are tricky things.
They have the capability to think through complex problems. We feel empathy for our friends and family. Then, can be amused by a funny video. And all of this and more can happen within the space of an hour. We have a huge capacity to learn, to explore new ideas and viewpoints, and to reason through the every-day struggles and conundrums that arise over the course of our day.
For many people, it feels as though we typically are in control of what we think about. We can control how much time we devote to a given topic. The truth is, often our thoughts become very patterned. We start to generalize how we look at our lives and the world. Our thought patterns can start to take on a life of their own.
This can be a positive thing. It reduces the time we have to spend puzzling over new information. It decreases the effort we have to put forth, and seamlessly integrates new information with little conscious effort.
However, if our thought patterns start to consistently become negative or hopeless, we will start to see the world and our own lives in a negative, hopeless light.
For many people, just starting to notice your thoughts more can have a big effect in your well-being. But, if you are finding yourself to be frequently depressed, anxious, or angry and are having trouble managing on your own, it may be time to seek the help of a licensed professional.
Written by: GROW Staff