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Are A Slave To Your Thoughts or Master? 3 Ways to Know

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Just a few months ago, I was driven by a thought that had created an image in my mind. That image was sustained by the thought. That thought was that I wanted to go away for a silent retreat in late March to April. I seeded the thought from a suggestion by a friend. That seed grew into a plant and became a tree, deeply rooted in my mind. That thought, however, had to be shattered. It was because, by mid-March, most flights globally were halted. By that time, I had become a slave to the thought that I wanted to travel and be away. I became a slave to the thought. It took some time for that tree to grow. To cut it off took just as long. Are you a salve to your thoughts or a master? There are 3 ways to find out.

1. When We Act on Autopilot

Do you act on autopilot mode? Meaning, whatever you feel like doing at the moment, you take the action? Examples include craving for certain foods and going to purchase it quickly. If you noticed, the craving often creates an image in your mind that drives you to think more about the item. Daniel Kahnemann, a psychologist who won the Noble Prize in Economic Sciences pointed out that our instinctual and emotional mind drives our behaviour including speech and action. We are not the rational and deliberate thinker we feel we are. Without an awareness of our instinctual emotional drive, we would always be driven by our mental habits – most of which are negative and causes stress.

2. Unawareness of one’s thoughts

Are you aware of how your thought moves? Are you aware of how your thought drives your emotions which in turn drives your behavior? If your answer is no to all of these questions, then the belief that you are a master and not slave to thoughts is delusionary.

3. Can You Change Your Thoughts?

If you answered yes to the questions in point number 2, that is good news. It means you have the potential to be a master of your thoughts. This question pertains to your ability to change your thought. If you are aware of your thoughts, are you able to change thoughts that make you feel lousy, to ones that make you feel good? If you answer yes, then you are the master of your thought.

If you found out from this post that you are a slave and not a master of your thoughts, do not fret. There are ways to become the master instead of a slave to thoughts. Mindfulness practice helps us notice one thought-form that arises after another. Mindfulness-Based Strategic Awareness Training offers an insight into the entire human experience. You learn the interrelationship between your body, feelings, and thoughts. With this insight, you learn to be above them and one day direct them, rather than be driven by these processes.

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