As I said in my last post, it’s easy for thoughts that are just in our imagination to create strong, visceral responses. The exact type of physiological and emotional responses depend upon the content of our thoughts (e.g., lustful thoughts can create sexual arousal, thoughts of being wronged can create feelings of hurt or anger). These thoughts can simply be the product of imagination. Also, they can be expectations about the future or rehearsing some incidents that happened in the past. The main point is that the responses that these thoughts can produce can be quite powerful and the body does not know the difference between a real situation and the content of our thoughts. Our bodies respond to our thoughts as if they are true.
When we ruminate on negative thoughts, our bodies will keep responding as if these thoughts are real. So, if you do this for several hours a day (e.g., think of how wrong that friend was for making that rude comment), we will keep fueling the corresponding emotional responses. This can occur over the span of hours, days, weeks, and even years. And, to top it off, we are the ones that suffer the most from ruminating on these negative thoughts! Liberating ourselves from these unhealthy thoughts is of paramount importance. Our happiness and peace of mind are at stake. Our happiness (or lack thereof) can affect (or infect?) those around us. It’s like the idea of karma. I’ll take more in my next post about how to liberate ourselves from these negative thoughts.