Life is a roller coaster of emotions. We all have our ups and downs, good days and bad days. Have you ever stopped to consider where these feelings of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ actually originate? It’s a question that was addressed by Sydney Banks, a philosopher and author, who created ‘The Three Principles – Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.’
A New Perspective on Feelings
Banks’ Three Principles theory reveals an astounding truth: our thoughts create our feelings, 100% of the time. Yes, all the time! This means the emotions we experience, whether joy or anger, are all governed by our thoughts about events, not the actual events themselves. In essence, this provides us with the empowering ability to regulate our feelings simply by understanding and managing our thoughts.
The Artistry of Thought
Consider the analogy of life as a painting, with our thoughts serving as the palette of colours and our feelings as the canvas. As the artist, we have the power to design our emotional landscape based on the thoughts we choose to entertain. If we’re feeling ‘blue’, it’s likely because we’re having blue thoughts, not because our life is inherently sad. This profound realisation equips us with the capacity to manage our feelings, and in turn, our lives more effectively.
Practical Application: Thoughts in Traffic
To truly absorb the impact of this principle, let’s examine a common scenario: traffic. Imagine being stuck amidst honking horns and crawling vehicles. Your pulse quickens, frustration rises, and you blame the traffic for your angst. But, pause for a moment and reflect – is it truly the traffic causing your irritation, or is it your thoughts about the situation?
Thoughts like, “Why is this always happening to me?” or “I’m going to be late and it’s all this stupid traffic’s fault!” are the real instigators of your anger, not the gridlock itself. This insight empowers you to alter your thoughts and, consequently, your feelings. Instead, you could think, “I can’t control the traffic, but I can control my reaction. Perhaps this is a good time to listen to a podcast or audio book.” Almost like magic, your anger dissipates, replaced by a sense of calm, and maybe even enjoyment.
Your Emotional Superpower
This isn’t a one-off magic trick. Rather, it’s a powerful, reusable tool that enables you to transform your emotional world. While it doesn’t mean you’ll never experience negative emotions, it does provide a pathway to manage them effectively. It’s like having a superpower that allows you to dial down the stress, anxiety, and anger, and dial up the happiness, calm, and contentment.
A Compassionate Window Into Others
This understanding offers a more compassionate way to view others. If someone snaps at you, it’s easier to understand that their outburst is a result of the thoughts they are having, not necessarily your actions. This new perspective can enhance your relationships, improve conflict resolution, and help you become a more understanding, empathetic individual as we won’t take things so personally.
Steering Your Emotional Journey
Fully grasping the concept that our thoughts create our feelings is a game-changer. It’s like holding the steering wheel of your own emotional journey, directing your feelings in whichever direction you choose. Once you realise this power, you can’t unsee it, and trust me, you won’t want to. Harness this understanding, apply it in your daily life, and witness the transformative effects it has on your emotional well-being, your relationships, and ultimately, your life.