Relational Theory Model
Often we do not understand the link between our thoughts, behaviors and emotions. I have given some surface level understanding and examples throughout other articles, but now I think it is time that I inform you on the significance of this integral link. These tools and models that I am about to show you will give you a comprehensive understanding of why people do the things they do.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.”
Let’s face it. We talk to ourselves more than any other person in our lifetime. So it is no wonder that we are the biggest influence in our lives. The thoughts we tell ourselves over time transformed into our deeply ingrained beliefs. Society also plays a pivotal role in shaping who we are, but that topic is for another article. We identify with our beliefs and hold onto them as if they are a part of who we are. To deny these beliefs, is to deny who we are (Or so we think). These beliefs influence our views on yourself, others and world around us. We form schemas for yourself and roles for others in our lives. We are not made aware that there is any other way of existing. To notice our thoughts is the equivalent for a fish to know that it is swimming in water.
The Problem With Thoughts
“Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.”
Have you ever been really tired and you couldn’t explain why? You were getting enough sleep, but you were still tired all day long. Have you had a friend that always liked to party? He was gregarious, charismatic and the life of the party, but he was also the one that skipped class, always stayed at friend’s houses and rationalized that he can stop drinking if he wanted to. Do you have that big friend that never seems to eat out in public, but when he his home he stuffs his face for hours on end? How about America’s favorite? Do you come home after a long day and just want to turn on the T.V. to relax for a couple hours before going to sleep? These behaviors all have something in common. They relieve us of our thoughts. When you are sleeping, getting wasted, watching T.V or eating copious amounts of food, your mind is not with you. You don’t have to listen to the repetitive narrative that is playing out in your head. It is no wonder that people with anxiety or depression tend to fall into these behaviors more often.
Negative Thoughts=Stress and Pain
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
When you don’t like the story that is being played out in your head then you are going to want to press stop on that remote. If people don’t like what they’re feeling or things they have done in the past then it is natural to try and repress those thoughts. If we replay bad situations over and over again or predict negative situations to come then it elicits painful emotions. Why do we repeatedly punish ourselves? We escape the present moment just to be locked in the jail of our minds. These negative thoughts are another form of stress in our life. This stress builds up and we want to release it through thought-diminishing behaviors. So how do we stop this? There are other outlets to halt this thought train that are not so damaging on your body and soul.
Watch your thoughts for they become words.
“Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
My father always said that… and I think I am fine.”
So it has been established that we are what we think. So how do we change what we think we are? Well you can always try therapy. It worked wonders for me. However, if you can’t afford therapy or need a quicker solution right now to ease your pain then you can try these techniques.
Replace The Bad Habit With A Positive One
Choose a hobby that will send you into a Flow state. When we reach Flow, we get so caught up in our actions and being in the present moment that we don’t have to stop and think. Try working out, running, writing, playing a sport. Pick up a passion and master it! This will not only cease your thoughts, but it will give you purpose in life and higher self-esteem.
Recognize Your Thoughts For What They Are
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
It is true that our thoughts do shape who we are. I am going to tell you a secret. You don’t create your thoughts. You don’t control your thoughts. They are NOT YOU!!! Take a second and think about this. (Ironic, I know). But, seriously. Have you ever thought of hurting or even killing someone? Multiple people have, but only a miniscule amount of the population has actually done it. I am sure you have thought of some crazy things that you have never actually acted on. To not identify with your thoughts, get better at observing them. Use meditation to press pause on that remote and read those subtitles. Realize that you are not the director. You are the actor being guided by them. Meditation gives you more control over your role in the movie and can have the power to make a BLOCKBUSTER HIT!
Below is an example of negative habits you might practice to relieve stress and a replacement that you can implement in its stead.