Meaning Experiment of the Week – Observe Your Thoughts

A few of my posts have mentioned self-defeating thoughts and their impact on our lives. For example, thoughts of worry are a complete waste of time. These types of thoughts change your emotional state and tend to reoccur over and over again or until you perceive the source of the worry as having ended.

Thoughts of how you wish your life was different are also futile. This tendency to focus on what you don’t want, instead of on what you do want, is unproductive and disruptive to your overall sense of well being.

Analysing and judging situations and people throughout your day is also a real drain on your energy and creativity. This sort of running commentary going through your mind, like a sports commentator, of who and what you see around you, is an unnecessary part of your day.

The thing is though, that these types of wasteful thoughts have become a real habit for many of us, me included. If you’re the kind of person that tends to analyse life, almost more than you participate in life, then you are wasting the power of your thoughts.

Achieving real personal growth is impossible without being aware of how you are using your thoughts. If you want to grow into the best version of yourself possible then an excellent place to start is with your thoughts.

The plan for this week is simply to observe your thoughts. Not to change them, not to influence them, just to see what types of thoughts occupy your day. And to see how they make you feel.

To do this you will have to act as an independent observer, someone slightly apart from yourself. You will have to become more in touch with the part of you that watches over everything you do and think.

For example, if you are in the middle of thinking angry thoughts about someone or something, you can observe yourself doing that. Let’s say that you are complaining to yourself about how you were treated while shopping today, you can independently observe these thoughts without influencing them or becoming emotionally influenced by them.

It can be a strange sensation to come from this more peaceful and wiser part of yourself. It can also have a profound impact on your experiences.

So for this week choose a day to observe as many of your thoughts as you can. Take note of how many thoughts are productive, how many are creative and how many are futile and energy wasters.

If you can, also note how you are feeling when you observe these variety of thoughts. More importantly, take note of how your feelings might change when you swap from being the  you of your thoughts to the you as objective observer.

If you are involved in thinking an angry flood of thoughts and you change over to simply observing yourself thinking these thoughts, how does the situation change?

Observe your thinking style this week and consider how your thoughts may be holding you back from being the person you want to be.