The more research that I do, the more presentations that I do, and the more that I meet one-on-one with people, the more that I become convinced that the thoughts we have can make a big difference in our lives.
All of us all of us worry to a greater or lesser degree, all of us have an inner critic to a greater or lesser degree, all of us have a younger self (usually half our age) to a greater or lesser degree, all of us have an imposter to a greater or lesser degree, and all of us talk to ourselves to a greater or lesser degree.
Why is that these things are to a greater or lesser degree? Is it nature or is it nurture? The answer is a big YES. We know more than ever that everything to do with who we are is impacted by both nature AND nurture. Studies on identical twins have now been largely dismissed because all of us are influenced not just by our genetics, we are also influenced by what we do, who we meet, where we grew up, what our parents tell us, etc.
However, all of us, regardless of genetics or upbringing, talk to ourselves. And we do it a lot! If you are thinking "No I don't", then you are doing it right now! Talking to ourselves are simply noting more than, thoughts. Furthermore, thoughts are nothing more than mental (mind) cognitions based on our ideas, opinions, and beliefs.
Our thoughts have the ability to influence our emotions, and that's the important key here, our thoughts influence our emotions. Often, we aren't thinking about what we are thinking about. Worse still, we aren't thinking about the implications of those thoughts. Yet, we can become all-consumed by them.
Research shows that the longer we think about something the more real the thought becomes until we actually begin to believe our thoughts, thoughts that we made up in our head which come from our genetics, culture, beliefs, education, physical condition, etc. And, these thoughts impact on our emotions which impact on our wellbeing, one way or the other. Bring into the mix our natural negativity bias and you have a 'mix for mess', all made up in our mind.
There are many ways to control our thoughts. The most common, we are told, is to acknowledge the thought then let it go and move on. For me, this does not work because once I have had the thought I then feel the emotion and emotion which hooks me into that thought for whatever reason; guilt, regret, fear, revenge, disappointment, or failure. If regret is involved, the thought then keeps repeating itself.
I prefer to get rid of the thought altogether; flick a rubber band worn on my wrist, blink my eyes and say the word "STOP" inside my head, shake my head and think of the thought going into a rubbish bin, or refocus on what is around me.
Regardless of what you do to get rid of your negative thought, keep doing it. Let that be your new thought, getting rid of negative thoughts, because thoughts DO matter and DO make a difference, to you.
Whose thoughts are they, yours. Who can help you with those thoughts, you can. Importantly, who can control them, only you can. Start thinking about what you are thinking about.