We think about millions of things every day. Every second, our thought processes change their track and compel us to chase the trails they leave behind. Irrespective of how strong you are, how firmly you hold control over your emotions, or, how vulnerable and soft-natured one is, we seldom find ourselves wielding a sceptre of command on our thoughts.
Thoughts can be induced by anything we see around us, even our sub-conscious mind can give rise to thoughts galore. It’s impossible to trace the exact point or thing that gives rise to a particular thought. It’s a continuous line of consciousness having no definite pattern, manifesting itself through some complex brain processes.
Mental cognitions or discernments are the ideas, perspectives, feelings and emotions about ourselves and the world around us. They are a conglomeration of our views, the way we perceive things around us and they play a substantial role in building up our ‘characters’.
Thoughts which we rear for years define our attitudes. A particular incident can trigger different thoughts in different individuals depending on their attitudes and point of views about life. While it’s difficult to control thought, we can change their nature if we try consciously. This is because, as I’ve said earlier, thoughts are shaped by life experiences, family background, culture, education and environment. So, if you are aware of the positive and negative sides of your thoughts and attitudes, there is enough room for rectification.
Another thing is, thoughts are deeply associated with emotions. Now, What are emotions? Emotions are a flow of uncontrollable feelings that are often triggered by external factors.While emotions (sadness, joy, anger, compassion, terror) are universal, the way they affect different persons are different thereby inducing different thought processes.
Emotions are universal and contagious. A tragic accident would evoke almost same, if not identical, emotions but the same incident would make people think differently and uniquely. So, though thoughts and emotions are interconnected, the former one has stronger and more independent stand in human minds.
We are the sum of our thoughts and what we choose to dwell on and indulge ourselves in, dictate our emotions.
“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” Lucille Désirée Ball
The key to happiness, thus, to some extent, lies in our own hands. Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of the book “The How of Happiness” and a positivity researcher, says, about 40% of happiness depends on our intentions and how we choose to look at life. Happiness is a state of mind which makes us fuller and closer to our own selves. Happiness is not a chimerical dream. A little change in our views, a few positive approaches and love for life can make us happy. It resides within us. We just have to feel it, grasp it and make it tangible in our own ways. And, while doing this, just stop paying too much attention to others. Because, practically and scientifically too, your happiness is unique to your thoughts and have nothing to do with others. Once we are able to follow the path of happiness, we don’t have to seize it anymore, it’ll seize us anyway.