Why do we believe what we think?

Q:

Why do we believe what we think?

A:

Our thoughts are powerful things — so powerful, in fact, that we actually believe them. If you’re a beginning yogi or meditator you’ve probably been taught that your thoughts are fleeting. They come and go, like clouds in the sky. Why then, is it so difficult to detach from our thoughts? Why do the stories running through our heads seem so darn real?

As humans, we’ve simply evolved to be this way. It’s part of our human nature to believe our inner dialogue in order to survive. If our ancient ancestors never believed their thoughts to “run away from the dangerous lion,” we wouldn’t actually be here today. Every one of us has evolved to believe our own thoughts, and then cling so tightly to them in such a way, it’s as if our lives depended upon them.

(Why should we pay attention to our thoughts?)

The truth, though, is that however hardwired we may be for survival, believing so thoroughly in what we think no longer serves our greater good. In fact, on a given day, the majority of our thoughts are as good as jibberish. They’re background noise and we shouldn’t take them too seriously. They’re also the way our minds re-process whatever it is we’ve taken into our consciousness in a given day, week, year or lifetime.

(What would Patanjali say about our changing states of mind?)

Just because we think a thought does not at all make it true. Far too often we get lost in our thoughts and miss the beautiful reality of the present moment. It’s for this reason that we all need to meditate — every, single day. When we learn how to be the witness of our thoughts, we can dis-identify from them, seeing them for what they really are: just passing thoughts — no more, no less.

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Written by Aimee Hughes
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Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for more than 21 years. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book titled, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex."

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