Thoughts Are Only Perceptions You may believe that your thoughts are based on reality. That seems to make sense. You use your senses, you take into account your experiences, and you have an informed thought that feels based in reality. In fact, it’s easy to believe that your thoughts ARE reality, that your thoughts are facts. However, that’s not actually the case. Look at this image below. What do you see? Most people will say that they see a star or two triangles. This is actually an illusion called the Kanisza Triangle. Are there actually two triangles? No. There are six shapes that leave empty space between them and your mind fills in that space with what seems to make sense. So, you believe that you see something which does not truly exist. That’s what happens with your thoughts. Your thoughts are just a momentary opinion based on what your senses pick up in that moment and your life experience has been up until that moment. That is why your thoughts can adapt based on changes in your environment, experiences, senses, knowledge, skills, etc.
Why is this important?: Changing Your Thoughts Changes Your World If your thoughts are not permanent manifestations of reality, then that means you can change them! You can recognize that just because you have a thought, doesn’t mean it’s true. That means if a thought isn’t helpful to you, then you no longer have to believe it. This helps with decreasing anxiety, depression, shame, even suicidal ideations; while it also helps with increasing motivation, self esteem, self confidence, and future orientation. You can change negative energy into positive energy. I’ll never get this right. can become I’m improving every day. I want to die. can become I feel really bad right now and I might feel better in an hour. I’m afraid to try something different. can become I’ve gotten through that fear before. Changing patterns of thinking can be very challenging to accomplish on your own. If you want guidance to make these changes or if you are struggling with life stressors, self esteem, relationships, family conflict, or other challenges, contact Jolie for individual, couples, family counseling, or life coaching. Jolie also provides workshops for professional or personal development and continuing education as well as clinical supervision and coaching for counselors, social workers, and other professionals.