Thinking relies on three energy input sources: sensing, eating and breathing. The brain's function is to transform energy; it is constantly receiving information from things we see, hear, etc. and transforms this into thoughts. We store some of it, and some of it is filed away for later use (or possibly never). Our sleep quality actually helps process this information. Our dreams are one process in which we transform what we experience, into something we can relate to and understand. Just like food, what we put into our brains, affects what comes out of our brains. Say we get attached to a thought that comes in...the thinking mind takes over, and you repeat this thought, like a broken record, acting upon it.
If you are curious about the philosophy and a slightly different view of the brain, the ego and thoughts, I highly recommend Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer. He clearly explains how we create stories, based on your own interpretations of events that you experience (while he wasn’t the originator of this concept, he does explain it in a very digestible format). As Mr. Singer points out, think of the light poles you pass when you're driving...they just pass by you. You see them, but there's no reaction. Why then do some thoughts catch your attention and drag you in, rather than letting them pass by you like a light pole?
If you want experiences in your life to change, you have to change your thought patterns...it's the age old definition of insanity! Simply put, your thoughts shape your reality (if you do the same thing over and over again, you will NOT get a different result). If you think you are x, y, z, then you will look for clues in everything, to support that. Think of a victim or someone who falsely thinks they're being bullied or abused--they will take every comment or act personally, and say that it's proof their being abused. (Please don’t misunderstand me—I am very empathetic to bullying and abuse. My point is not to discredit those who have been attacked. However, there are times we all may feel we are being “abused,” and in fact are not….and we then search for anything that will prove this. And in all honesty, don’t we all know a martyr, on some level?
So let’s discuss quickly, how you can shift your thoughts, and come up with a solution to most problems. Remember that your brain is a mega-computer…if you feed it the right questions, it will search and search for an answer, until it finds one. So when you feel “stuck” with no answers, try brainstorming. Here's the process:
1. Formulate a question (use the keyword “what,” which is the best way to start a question, then “where” and “how” - avoid “why,” as that can have too many answers). For instance, “what do I need to do, so I can relax at night?”
2. Let go of "a right answer.” Your brain will search for all kinds of answers, and some may seem off-the-wall to you…let it do its job, and don’t shut it down prematurely.
3. Relax your body.
4. Repeat the question and write down or record every answer or thought-no matter how ridiculous it may seem to you.
5. Continue this stream of consciousness for a limited period of time, like a few minutes at most (there’s no need to overwhelm the mind, and it needs a time span, so it focuses quickly and stays on track).
6. Set it aside and let it rest. Sleep on it, if you can. Many, MANY answers come from rest!
7. Go back and review the data with fresh eyes and mind.
8. Keep asking questions until you get to an answer. I was reading about the Akashic records recently, and they advised that you need to be very clear about your question, to get a clear and accurate answer. If you ask a question and the answer doesn't make sense, there's a chance you weren't being clear enough...so keep asking, until the answer makes sense.