Thinking and Relaxation

by Dr. Alexander Wright, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

“Leave your front door and your back door open.
Allow your thoughts to come and go.
Just don’t serve them tea.”

– Shunryu Suzuki

Our thoughts play a primary role in our mood. An awareness of our thinking and the emotional states of mind that follow are a core component of emotional intelligence. Does a thought make something real? Only from an emotional perspective. Metaphorically, if our thinking system is a home, it is preferable to leave our doors open. Openness to our thoughts is important in learning, coping, growing, and thriving as emotionally intelligent beings. Allowing thoughts to come and go is as valuable as leaving the doors of our home open to loving family and friends. However, on occasion, we can have both unwanted negative thoughts in our mind and unwanted guests in our home. Both are much more likely to stay when we serve them tea; perhaps literally to a house guest but the tea we serve to thoughts are actually the focus and attention we give to them.

Our present focus increases and our attention to negative thoughts can significantly decrease when we practice an awareness of our thinking, our behavior, and their effects on our emotions. We have the power to leave the doors of our mind open, allow thoughts to come and go, and discover increased relaxation.

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