Posted by DeadMan on October 06, 2010 at 20:45:46:
This is a post I wrote for Sleepnet's Insomnia Forum. You don't need to be an insomniac to have problems with thoughts.
Recurring Thoughts Part 1 -unedited
In many cases insomnia can be brought on by not being able to turn off the thought process. This has been discussed in several different ways. I'm adding one more way to look at the problem.
This is a complex issue so I plan to deal with it one step at a time.
Part 1. What are thoughts?
This is a very difficult topic to discuss at a level where most people will understand. So in trying to keep it in basic terms, not everything I say will be translatable literally. I hope you are able to get the gist. Try not to think about the words, many times thoughts can get in the way and change the meaning of something that is said or written.
What are thoughts? Are they real? Many people would say thoughts are not real, they are imaginary, and come and go as they please. Some experts describe them as clouds that roll through the sky and disappear. It is said that we are constantly surrounded by thoughts and we have a choice of which ones we want to latch on to and think about. It is also said that thoughts belong to no one and in many cases are just reflecting the stimuli in the environment. One powerful statement I read many years ago seemed to hit the spot at the time. "There is no thought that hasn't been though of at sometime, somewhere in the universe. There is no such thing as a new thought". So basically we are regurgitating old thoughts. (by the way, nothing I'm writing here comes from something that hasn't been thought of by others, including people on this forum)
That is what you will read in some recent books. However, for many people, thoughts are more real than many other true experiences in their lives.
Why, because one huge item is missing in What are Thoughts? above, The Power of Thoughts. A thought has the power to change the world and can easily change someone's life if allowed to do so. For some people they may be like clouds that roll in and out but for many others they don't disappear. In fact they tend to hang around and grow. The more you think about a thought the more energy and control it takes from you.
There seems to be a point where a thought won't go away on it's own and keeps pushing your mind to think about it, and even trying not to think about it makes you think about it more, giving it more power and control.
Most of this is due to how the brain handles thoughts. To the brain, a thought is real. Studies have shown if you have someone look at an apple and you monitored their brain wave activity and chemistry, and later have the person think of and visualize an apple, the brain activity and chemistry would react the same way. The brain reacts to thoughts in the same way it reacts to real objects or actions.
We also know the brain manages our body. So taking it a step further, thoughts effect your total body. In some cases positive ways, in others, like insomnia, negative ways. One very simple example, you see someone you are very, very attracted to and some parts of your body will experience a change. Later if you think about the person your body will have a similar experience, maybe less, maybe more, depending on the thought, because the brain can't tell the difference. And just like repeated actions in the environment, certain types of thoughts can become addicting. Good and bad.
Some of what I'm saying may seem to obvious. I'm including it so we will have more pieces of the puzzle when we get to Part 2 "How to control your thoughts"
I'll leave with a quote that seems to sum up what I'm trying to relate.
Beware of your thoughts as they become your words.
Beware of your words as they become your actions.
Beware of your actions as they become your habits.
Beware of your habits as they become your fate.
In short, thoughts are directly connected to our fate.
Again, I hope you are able to get the gist of what I'm saying, and don't think about it too much. LOL
Part 2. "How to control your thoughts" coming next week. I'm going to need time to think about it. LOL
Disclaimer, I am not an MD and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice. If you feel that you need assistance with medications and/or diagnosis, you should seek medical advice from a qualified physician.
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