Thinking and behavior relation

“Thinking is mother of necessity and grandmother of invention.”

All of us breathe, but most of us take our breathing for granted. Similarly, all of us think but most of us take our thinking for granted.

Just like everyone has a unique thumb impression or unique eye retinal impression, each individual receives a unique pool of thoughts every second. The thoughts my mind is generating at this moment is totally different than your thoughts while you are reading this article.

Since morning we get up, our first thought comes to mind whether to get up quickly or relax a bit and enjoy the warm bed for a little more time. And the process of thinking continues till we go to sleep. Also just before sleeping, we have thoughts like, what we need to do tomorrow early morning… and so on. So what is the relation between thinking and behavior?

According to the book “Mind Power” by James Borg (a Positive psychologist and author of many books), every human being thinks around 60 to 70 thousand thoughts in a day. Imagine the number of thoughts our brain processes on a daily basis. All other human actions will be halted if this little brain, which weighs around 1.3 to 1.4 kg on average, has to go through and process each of those thoughts individually.Imagine what will happen to us; we might do nothing more than sit in the day-long processing of these thoughts.

The brain is very powerful to process the thoughts

By default, the brain has the ability to screen these thoughts and process only those thoughts which are appropriate for processing. That is why it is very important to have a habit of thinking positively. Only thoughts that are beneficial to a person need to be processed; other thoughts need to be ignored or allowed to pass by without processing. It depends from person to person, which kind of thought a person’s mind thinks is important to process.

A positive mindset does not mean ignoring any kind of danger or threat which may occur. It is to understand the threat and positively make a strategy to address it in a proper way, considering them as a challenge rather than perceiving them as a threat to survival.

…for there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare

There is a famous proverb, Necessity is the mother of invention. In my opinion, thinking is the mother of necessity.  When you think, you bring necessity to your life. And when necessity is recognised, you tend to search the ways to invent some ideas on how to produce things that will help in achieving it. So ultimately thinking is the grandmother of the invention. Everything we use in our life was invented by someone who had thought that it is a need for human life.

Intellectual thinking

When you think about thinking, you will know that you feel the way you think. It is not the event that makes you angry, but the belief which you attach to those events or thoughts is the real reason for it. Modern methods in psychology like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) are used to focus people on their thoughts, their beliefs attach to those thoughts, and their effect on emotions and their behaviors. CBT helps people to correct their thinking patterns and assist them to alter their behavior accordingly.

“Change the way you think, and you will change the way you feel.”

I have used this technique in my personal life. When I was severely impacted by stress and worry, I discovered it to be really useful.

Your belief to an event produces your feelings and Behavior

Imagine an instance when you experienced high levels of stress at work. The whole day, you were busy planning on a project which is been delayed from its planned date of delivery. Stakeholders have asked the reason for this delay several times. You have been busy preparing a presentation to show what was the cause of the delay. You are trying to justify, how this project will be successfully delivered by extending a very short and acceptable duration. But when you look at the resources, you find that you are short of supplies. An additional push to the new deadline may increase the cost, which will affect the net profit from this project.

To know, Such situations are common in the business world. Some of us handle it in a professional way and some of us make a mess out of it in our business and family relations.

After this tiring day of work, when you have had arguments with many project stakeholders and co-workers, you reached home late. You are exhausted and you find that your wife and kids are waiting at home to go out for dinner in a restaurant nearby. As soon as the door is opened at home, your spouse asks a question about the reason for this delay. At this moment what do you feel? How do you react to the question? Some people might take it easy and inform the partner that there was an emergency at work and that they were forced to spend most of the time focusing on the task at hand and its outcome. But some may get offended by such a question and then you probably know what might happen next?

If you attach the meaning to your spouses’s question like,

“Yes, I had promised my wife and kids to take them to the dinner. I forgot to call them and tell them about such an urgent task appeared. We could postpone the dinner for the next day”,

In such a case, you discover that you will explain the problem to her in a very kind manner, and the other situations are under control;

If you are the one of those who attach belief as,

“She doesn’t understand that I had a very tiring day in my office today.

“She shouldn’t ask such questions when I return home.

Why are they ready to go to the restaurant?

“I did not call them from the office and tell them to get ready.”

You will find that your mood changes to bad and you get angry and offended by such thoughts and reactions. It might lead to a heated argument with her, a rise in blood pressure, and a rapid heart rate..

There are different feelings such as being comfortable in the preceding situation, while irritated, offended, and angry feelings later. Even though the event is the same, but two different behaviors and two distinctive results were reported. There may be different behaviors, such as accommodative, adaptive, or anger and avoiding talking to her. Both behaviors are the result of the beliefs you attach to the event. I don’t need to explain what happens next in both situations.

Intellectual thinking is key to adapt positive behavior

Intellectual thinking is most important in order to take control of our emotions and behaviors in any situation.

Some of the negative emotions may include, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise, anxiety, depression, envy, guilt, hurt, jealousy and shame, etc. Its related behavior includes avoiding something, becoming isolated, laziness, being violent, over-eating or restricting food intake, avoiding a situation, procrastination, seeking reassurance, taking alcohol or prohibited medications, using safety behaviors, etc.

Some of the positive emotions may include, joy, happiness, hope, pride (Not arrogance or ego, these are negative emotions), inspirations, gratitude, etc.  Its related behavior includes, energetic, caring, charming, enthusiastic, faithful, funny, and kind, etc.

Call to action:

Keep one notebook and pen on the side table beside your bed.

Write the title of this notebook as my positive diary.

This notebook you will use for the next 30 days to write your “Daily goals”. Write your day-to-day observation of your negative thoughts or situations, your reactions to those thoughts or situations, and your own suggestions on how you could improve to correct those situations or thinking processes under the call to action.

Write daily goals at the beginning of the day, and call to action at the end of the day.

When you wake up in the morning:

Write in the diary on the top of the page, Today, I will stay positive all day.”

I want to achieve___________________________________________________ in my life.

My today’s goal is _________________________________________________

Before sleeping:

Write today’s minimum 3 events or thoughts which you think were negative in nature.

Explain the meanings you attached to such events or thoughts.

Record your reaction to these situations in brief. It may be positive or negative.

Write your opinion on how you could have done better to improve the situation.

Write today’s thoughts or events which you think were negative Explain the meanings you attached to such thoughts or eventsRecord your reaction to such thoughts or events What do you think you could have done better to improve in such Scenarios?

This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you experience symptoms which cause you concern, please consult your physician.

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