The Remote Control for Your Mind
Hey guys. Welcome to the Saluber Coaching Show. Helping you make wellness a priority. My name is Dr. Matthew Blaylock, and in today's episode, I'm going to be talking with you about thinking. In a previous episode, I talked to you about problems and how problems don't really exist. Problems only exists as a way that people are thinking about a certain experience. No one can reach into their pocket and pull out problem. Problems are not concrete like a desk or chairs or bottles or rocks. Problems only exist in our mind, and when we change our thinking, we change our experience of a problem. Today, I want to go a bit more in depth about thinking. And as we begin in this episode, I'm going to ask you to do a couple of things today and work along with me as I talk through this concept of thinking and what it is and explain to you about two different levels of thinking.
2 Levels of Thinking
Now to begin with, you are welcome to think about anything you want think about. Maybe a pleasant experience or think about something that was troubling or bothering you. Whatever you want to think about right now. Begin to think about some experience – something you would like to do or something you’ve already done or something you're afraid of doing. It’s up to you. Now as you begin to think about that thing, realize that whatever you're thinking about is very similar to watching a movie at the cinema. The thoughts that you're having in your mind are basically the film that's playing in the cinema of your mind. That thinking is occurring at two different levels. The first level, the part that people are usually aware of, is the level of content. The level of content is what you're actually thinking about. That movie that's playing in your head. It's whatever the action is that's going on – that's the content of your thinking. Most people tend to focus on that level. But, there's another level going on beneath that which is much more important. Most people aren't consciously aware of the second level.
Visual Qualities of Your Thinking
The deeper level is really the quality of how you're thinking about that content. What I mean by that is you have certain pictures that you may be seeing in your mind right now. I'm going to ask you are those pictures like a video that's playing in your mind or are they simple picture snapshots like Polaroids that you're seeing in your mind? Is there movement or are they still.. Think about how close or how far away are these images. If you don't have any images, it's okay. I'm going to get to you in just a second, but for those people who have images, how close or how far is it? Three feet away from you? Is it ten feet away from you? Is it a hundred yards away from you? How far away is this action occurring? Are you seeing it through your own eyes or are you watching yourself as a spectator? Are you seeing yourself in the film, or are you one of the actors that you're watching? Is the picture bright or is it kind of dark and like it needs to be turned up more – the brightness? How about the clarity? Is it really clear and distinct or is it kind of blurry like it's out of focus? How about the colors are they bright and vivid? Are they dull and washed out? Is it totally black and white? What is the image like for you? Is there only one image on the screen of your mind? Are you seeing multiple images? Where's the location? Is it right here in front of you or is it off to the left or right or is it down below you or up above you? Where is the image that you're seeing in the cinema of your mind. Now, I can go on and ask you a lot more questions about this, but hopefully you're beginning to see, there are some qualities about the visual aspect of the thoughts that you have in your mind.
Auditory Qualities of Your Thinking
There's also an auditory component. There is sound usually that goes along with it. Sometimes we hear people's voices or sometimes we hear a sound track like in a movie – we hear music that's playing. How about you? Are there sounds associated with what you're thinking right now? Are you hearing somebody's voice or are you hearing music? If you are, how about the volume? Is the volume kinda loud or is it really quiet? Is it coming in clear? Is it in surround sound all around you or is it coming in one direction in front of you or behind you or left or right? How about the clarity of the sound? Is the sound coming in very clearly or are the voices kind of muffled and not distinct? How about the speed? Are they talking in a normal regular speed or are the voices fast? Is the music playing fast or slow? What is the sound quality like, the pace, the tone, or the tempo? Any of that that you can notice, just be aware of those things in your thoughts right now.
Physical Sensations of Your Thinking
How about any feelings or any sensations that you have as you're thinking that in your body? Is there a location that you notice any sensations in your body. When you're thinking about that you notice something in your chest, your stomach, or maybe your shoulders, your back, maybe your face or head. Is there any kind of a possible shape to what these thoughts are for you? Sometimes people say to me that it feels like this hole or it feels like this tight ball or maybe even feels like this box in my stomach. How about any sensation or feeling that you're having? Is there any temperature to those thoughts? Does it feel, when you think about those things, warm? Does it feel hot? Does it feel cold? Does it feel neutral? How about any sensation of color you notice? Any kind of feelings that make you feel like the color blue or red or green or yellow? Do you notice any of those things that are occurring inside of you? There's no right or wrong answer, and you may not notice any of those things? You don't have any of those sensations. It's fine. We're just asking some questions to help you become aware of what's going on in your thoughts at any given time.
Remote Control for Your Mind
Now, as you become aware of these qualities, think of it basically like a remote control for your TV. When you have your remote control, you can change a lot of the qualities on your TV. You can change the position of your TV. You can move it around your room, but more specifically, with a remote, you can change the volume. You can change the brightness. You can change the contrast. You can change the color. You sometimes can even turn on picture-in-picture if your TV allows you to do that. You can change the channel and begin to watch a different film. You can do a lot of things with the remote. Just like you have remote for your TV, you have a remote for your mind and it gives you the power to control your thoughts. You don't have to be a victim to your thinking. You have the ability to master your mind and it begins with this simple process of becoming aware of both the content and the qualities of your thinking.
Taking Control of Unpleasant Thoughts
Now, how can you apply this to your life? Well, the first part is to be aware and the second part is that you can begin to change some of these qualities. One of the easiest things to do if you're feeling pressure, overwhelmed, or scared, you can simply push the picture away from yourself. If you feel like something is really close to you, push that picture away in your mind. If it's a video, change that video into a still shot – a Polaroid. Take that color Polaroid and turn it black and white. As you push that black-and-white Polaroid away from you, make it kind of blurry fuzzy so it's not so clear like the camera is out of focus a little bit. And, as you do that, take the volume and turn the volume down if there's any sound left with it. It can change this uncomfortable experience that you're having because of your thinking that normally you would think of as a problem. It's just a function of the way you're thinking about it. As you change these qualities, you will have a direct change of experience about whatever it was you're thinking about.
Learning to Master Your Mind
You can do the same thing if you're feeling disconnected or you don't feel very motivated or you don't feel very enlivened by something. You can do the opposite if something is kind of distant and dark and not very motivated. You can bring it closer. You can see the thing through your eyes. You can make it more vibrant. You can turn the volume up. You can take control of your mind, and when you do that, you will take control of your experience of life. And that is one of the most beneficial tips that I can share with you about wellness – learning to master your mind. Because when you master your mind, you begin to change the experience that your body is having. And, you begin to change the experience of your emotions. You begin to change the way you relate to people. Things are directly related to the way that you are thinking at any given time.
So I hope this has been helpful to you. I hope you can now begin to see the difference in the content of what you're thinking and the qualities of those thoughts. You can continually think about the same content, but if you think about it in a different way, you'll have a different experience. Let me know how this process works for you in the comments down below and we'll begin a discussion about what you can do to apply this more deeply in your life. Until we meet again. My name is Dr. Matthew Blaylock.
Be strong and live well.