3 Reasons Why Your Thoughts Are Real But Not True

By Jimmy Warden

Your narratives have more control over you than you know.

Psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach taught me that thoughts are real but not true. That idea derives from Buddhist mindfulness meditation.

That notion holds because thoughts stem from a skewed perception.

1.) Emotions are a full-body experience

Your entire body experiences emotions. Thinking is the fuel that gives them energy.

When you experience anger, the body tenses and heats up. With sadness, the body feels deflated and punctured. With excitement, the body feels light and dignified.

Each of those feelings is a real experience, but the thoughts that fueled them aren’t always an accurate depiction of reality.

2.) Catastrophizing: Feelings vs. Reality

Catastrophizing leads to feelings of anxiousness and panic.

It occurs when you feel overwhelmed or powerless in a situation. As if the circumstance will absorb you completely. It can also occur when you believe you aren’t good enough to do something.

The paradox is your feelings are not always aligned with what’s happening.

As a result, catastrophizing creates a false reality because you believe your fears have control over you.

3.) FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Introducing yourself to a stranger, giving a presentation, and imposter syndrome are instances that create fear.

All those occurrences are scarier when you think about them versus how they play out.

In most cases, your fears turn out to be less than you envisioned.

When they play out, there’s a sense of relief, and in most cases, they’re followed up with, “That wasn’t so bad.”

What thoughts do you believe are true but might not be?

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