The book, The Worry Trick, How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It, by David Carbonell PhD, teaches us that basically our thoughts are not reality. The point of the book is to get you to accept these thoughts.
I ‘live in my head’ because I can’t help it. I also can’t stop it. I however, do not have to believe that just because my brain ‘thinks of something’, that the ‘thought’ is somehow ‘true’, ‘likely to happen’, or even ‘important’.
However, if I ‘believe’ these thoughts ‘portend the future’, and by ‘thinking hard’ about the situation will somehow affect the outcome, I am ‘creating’ the stress, anxiety, and worry.
Humility helps with this, because I really-cannot-predict-the-future. And, even when one of my 100s of ‘daily predictions’ does come true, I can’t control what others do and what ultimately happens.
Humility reminds me that I only have the ability to influence things ‘now’.
The Fire Detector
“Thinking” about the future does have a benefit. It allows me to make decisions, always in the “now”, that can influence the future. I worry I may die in a house fire, so, after “thinking” about it, I decide that I can check the batteries and test the smoke detector right-now.
So I do that.
What else can I do?
Not much. I’m done. Any other thoughts about this, and I really cannot ‘stop’ myself from ‘thinking’, is just ‘noise’.
I have the option to just accept that: “I have noise in my head”. I have these thoughts, but, they are not ‘reality’. They-just-aren’t.
That is the thing that many will have a hard time accepting. We want to, we feel a need to, believe that our thoughts are Important and not just mostly random noise of a brain that has the inability to turn itself off.
Yes, it wants to produce important information, insights, and ideas to make my life better, but, humility reminds me that it is just-not-capable-of-doing-this.
Humility reminds me I am just a person, with ‘thoughts’ rolling around in my head.
I do not have to let them be the source of anxiety and worry.