Monthly Archives: August 2022

The difference between thoughts and feelings

“One ought to hold onto one’s heart, for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too”

– Friedrich Nietzsche-

We have to accept it as a reality of our world that much of what we think and feel is being shaped by social media platforms cementing beliefs and perspectives.

Emotions are an involuntary initial response to external stimuli by the brain’s limbic system as part of our evolutionary survival system.

The ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophers were well aware of this human trait. So, they developed a philosophy of life that maximizes positive emotions, reducing negative emotions, and honing virtues of character.

The Stoics believed that the way in which you respond to the world is your responsibility. They propose that most of the time your response to any given situation is a choice. At any moment you have the ability to choose one response over another.

Wisdom was seen as living in harmony with the divine Reason of that which governs nature. They trained the mind to remain calm amid the vicissitudes of life and fortune.

When a mass circulation newspaper prints on its front page an article on what would happen if Russia dropped a nuclear bomb on London, this inevitably triggers toxic emotions such as fear, anger, and outright terror. You have little control over such emotions, the brain’s limbic system is triggered into fight or flight mode.

When you go into rational thought you will start questioning the intention of the article and realize that the newspaper is merely pushing emotional buttons in order to boost its circulation and thus its advertising revenue. You will ask yourself: What is real? What is true? What is exaggeration and hyperbole?

Are you chained to your past with your self-talk?

Thoughts are always just that: Thoughts: They dwell on either an event of the past or an imaginary scenario of the future. Your quality of life will be severely impeded if you remain chained to self-talk that centers around the sadness over that which was and is no more or a perceived “grievance” that someone has inflicted on you. The mind is trapped in worries and concerns if it is fed a constant dosage of negative news on the economy.

The authenticity of the heart-mind

Heart mind feelings come from an entirely different space. Fear is transmuted by trust, and hate with love. Unconditional love and empathy come from a grounded trust in the power of a higher entity, the universal intelligence or God.

While an animal reacts mostly from the limbic instinctual level, the human has been given the power of choice and the ability to reflect. You need not be chained to your past. Every moment you can decide through choice to change your destiny.

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Where to start?

The inevitable question is: How do I regain control of toxic emotions triggered by a newspaper headline or a hurtful remark by a loved one? The first step is acceptance of those negative thoughts. Trying to push them away will only make the monster bigger. Before going into immediate attack mode, you could take a deep breath and ask yourself: Is my anger and hurt really justified? Where do I recognize that anger from? Where do I know that feeling of not being seen, heard, or disrespected?

A healthy body creates a healthy mind

If you are living a mainly sedentary lifestyle you will be far more prone to becoming a victim of negative emotions. If you feel healthy, fit, and strong you will be in a better position to “catch” the runaway horses of your mind. By practicing regular deep walking in nature you will find an inner rhythm that is in tune with your purpose and destiny. You will literally be walking toxic emotions off. Create a fixed time every day where you practice meditation, yoga, taichi, or qigong. These ancient body arts are perfectly suited to realign body, mind and soul.

According to the Stoic Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius “very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to subscribe or recommend my FREE weekly Blog to friends and family. My books can be ordered at all places that sell good books in both paperback and kindle.

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When brokenness leads to healing

One of the common causes of pain and suffering in the human mind is the inability to accept the impermanence and unpredictability of life’s seasons.

The world is constantly changing around us and we are changing with it, but often the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown and the desire to keep things “just as they are.” Adapting to new circumstances may require the hard work of letting go of external things, friends, associations, and especially old habits and beliefs.

Searching for purpose can sometimes be a trap

Life happens with “up-and-down” cycles and hardly ever along one clear trajectory. “I just can’t find my purpose,” a young woman said to me. “It just stresses me out completely when I just think of it.”

The misconception is that destiny has chosen for us one clear purpose in life that just has to be found like a hidden treasure. The reality is that one purpose often leads to another. One experience in life creates the foundation for the next step or elevation of consciousness. A job that we once carried out with much passion, energy, and creativity becomes routinely mundane where the days just become a hard chore.

You realize that the person you once fell in love with and shared the same interests, hobbies, and ideas with is now very different. You no longer agree about anything whether it’s the food you eat, political affiliation, or the friends you are going to meet for dinner in the evening.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

The dream house you bought some years ago is showing cracks. The new neighbors are noisy, your favorite restaurant around the corner has closed and the garden is too small for your children to play.

In this week’s podcast “Living to BE” I interviewed Kevin Palmieri who was living the typical American dream with a six-figure income, a beautiful girlfriend, and a nice car. And yet he was deeply unhappy and contemplating suicide. It is in those moments of brokenness that you are forced into introspection. And so began Kevin’s journey into self-development and awareness. He founded Next Level University and a podcast that reaches over half a million people in 125 countries.

Another hill to climb

You will be on a journey climbing a hill and when you reach the hill you find that there is yet another hill to climb. Many accomplished artists, writers, and entrepreneurs describe the feeling of emptiness and even sadness after reaching their goal, realizing that being on the journey was in reality the destination. The process of writing the book created greater fulfillment than actually finishing it. Building the company into a million-dollar enterprise was more energizing than running it. Painting the picture more fulfilling than having it completed.

Nature’s path is constant evolution on a never-ending spiral of change, adaptation, withdrawal, and momentum. If you are going through a difficult time at the moment, one of Abraham Lincoln’s favourite sayings might be comforting to you:

“This too shall pass.”

It is an ancient Persian adage reflecting the temporary nature of all things and the transitory nature of human existance.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing...If you have found this article interesting you might want to subscribe or recommend my FREE weekly Blog to friends and family. My books can be ordered at all places that sell good books in both paperback and kindle.

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Filed under mental health, mental-health