Upset? Ignore your thoughts. Here’s why…
17 Jun

Upset? Ignore your thoughts. Here’s why…

Did you know if we want to be free from upset feelings we should ignore our thoughts? It’s true. Our upset feelings come from our thoughts that say what’s happening shouldn’t be happening. Although it’s rarely understood, our upset feelings are never about what’s happening. Being upset is a state of mind stuck in the thought process of resisting life situations. When we experience upset feelings, we’re upset because we believe our thoughts, i.e., the inner voice of fear and doubt. In fact, we’re free of upset altogether when we learn to ignore our thoughts.

Suffering in upset is not inevitable. It’s our thoughts in the mind that say the situation is unacceptable. Notice, our suffering depends entirely upon us going along or believing our thoughts about the challenges we face in life. Yes, the source of our upset is our state of mind. We resist what happens in life, day in and day out. To be free, we must wake up to what’s true and recognize what’s false. Our thoughts and false beliefs keep us trapped. They’re not facts but rather conditioned habits.

When we resist, we suffer. We deny reality because the ego mind doesn’t want what is. So, instead of accepting, we repress what we don’t like. We avoid, bury, and numb it rather than feeling it and working through it. This behavior holds us back from accepting what seems unacceptable. Again, it’s our thoughts that say the situation is unacceptable.

What Thoughts are Keeping You Stuck?

We find ourselves believing thoughts. Yes, we’re interested in them, tricked by them, and we engage with them too. Yet, they’re unproductive and distract us from what we desire most. Ultimately, it’s our pain and suffering that pushes us to break free from this conditioned place.

The ego creates thoughts that run in our mind like a software program. They cycle judgment and resistance nearly 24/7. Yet, the source of our upset is only in our mind…not in the world and certainly not in life situations. No one and nothing can cause us to be upset even though our thoughts often tell us it’s so.

We make ourselves a victim when we believe the cause of our upset is outside and we expect the world to make us happy. This is what we do. We make ourselves vulnerable, and unhappy. Without realizing it, we invite it in and thus, we suffer. We can certainly survive life living this way, but we won’t ever be truly happy or at peace. This way of life breeds anger, worry, anxiety, upset, and more.

Knowing how to end the suffering matters because it gives us a greater sense of self-awareness and resilience to effectively overcome any life challenge. When we understand the source of our upset state we can resolve it. It clarifies the profound connection between our state of mind and our upset feelings as well as insights into our mental and emotional well-being. As we’ve learned, when we’re upset our quality of life diminishes. Knowing the source and recognizing the impact of our thoughts and emotions is key to ending our upset.

Taking a Closer Look at Our Upset Feelings…

Let’s begin by taking a look at what upset is and what often triggers it. Being upset can be defined as a state of being unhappy, troubled, distressed, or worried about unexpected or unwanted results. It’s all generated by past and future thoughts. This process involves the mind, emotions, and body cycling from one to another. Yet, the upset has nothing to do with the situation. It’s caused by the thoughts we listen to and believe about the situation. Our mental commentary triggers our upset, fear, anger, depression, worry, anxiety, and more. So, which of the following challenges in life seem to trigger your upset feelings: family, news, money, job, politics, religion, losses, etc.?

Now let’s go deeper…This is what happens when we get upset. We experience a life situation that’s followed by thoughts about it. Our thoughts interpret the situations with judgment and resistance. We go along with the thoughts of wanting something more, different, or better, thus we escape the truth. Yes, we engage in an interpretation that’s false, we get upset, and suffer because we’re looking for a solution in the wrong place. Again, the source of our upset is our thoughts about the situation. The situation is neutral until our thoughts get involved. It’s all psychological.

Unfortunately, we’re in a habit of escaping the reality of what’s happening rather than accepting it. When we insist it should be our way, we’re creating upset. Yes, we reject what’s happening as unacceptable. We spend nearly every moment of our lives wanting something different. It’s an automatic expectation. This is how we get stuck. We seek to escape by numbing ourselves with relationships, activities, substances, and things…yet they will fail us in due time.

Our “normal” behavior keeps us upset with anger, hurt, frustration, loss, heartbreak, grief, and more. We’re used to being distracted and not having authority over our attention beyond thought. In upset, we get captured by our thoughts.

The Source of Our Upset…

The source of our upset is our state of mind. Yes, we’re the source of our suffering, e.g., our mind, ego, thoughts, beliefs. This realization is significant and life changing because the solution narrows the cause to one thing that’s within our control. To be free, the only thing we need to deal with is ourselves. This is good news because we were given this authority long ago and we can reclaim it now.

Know this for sure, we can’t control anything outside of ourselves, even when the ego mind says we can. Instead, pay close attention to how the mind deals with life situations so you can discover for yourself what’s causing your upset. It’s the source of our unhappiness. We can learn how to overcome it by not getting involved with the mind. The voice of fear and doubt uses made-up ideas that are ignorant…not wise.

Unfortunately, we go along with what’s often called our self-talk dialogue. Essentially, we go along with the ego telling us that others and the situation are to blame for our reaction. Although this is normal behavior, it’s not helpful because this is how we give away our power, attention, and authority as well as our ability to change.

Recognizing the Source of Our Upset…

Isn’t it common sense that…we cannot resolve our problem and end suffering in upset if we don’t know the source of the problem, so we can make changes to resolve it?  Yet, if we want to be free to live in inner peace…we must remember that every time we get upset, it’s absolutely necessary to point the problem and solution back to our thoughts. Otherwise, if we continue to avoid, escape, blame, or depend on the outside world for the answers, e.g., people, substances, things, events, & relationships…we’re agreeing to live in a prison only to be tortured by the mind.

Instead of questioning our thoughts, we’ve been conditioned to believe nearly anything the mind comes up with. Thoughts tell us what’s happening shouldn’t be happening, but it is happening. And…this judgment, denial, and resistance is causing our suffering. Rather than going along as usual, be aware of the thoughts, and don’t identify with them. They’re running on their own. Your mind is the problem; it’s out of order. Let it go. Don’t engage. Watch it instead.

Overcoming Upset…

The only upset is in our mind. Yes, it’s happening there. Your happiness, freedom, and peace are not dependent on the world. By now you know it has nothing to do with people, things, or situations outside us. The upset is a thought interpretation created in the mind. So, don’t get involved.

Stop logging on to thoughts in the mind. This is how we live a psychological life…stuck with a roommate from hell. It’s that inner bully with the voice of fear and doubt we never stop to question. Yet, our freedom is found when we’re willing to question all thoughts and learn to ignore them.

To overcome and break free we must be aware of what’s going on in our minds. We must learn to separate thoughts we’re experiencing from the situation we’re upset about.

Most people experience their situations and thoughts as one united front, yet the truth is, they’re separate. We lack the awareness to differentiate between our thoughts and life situations. Yet, we can learn to separate the mind narrative from the situation to live in the present moment now.

The present moment is always here. Notice, instead of being here now, our attention is often distracted from now…into a psychological story or narrative. There is another way to live. We must wake up out of this unconsciousness where we identify with our thoughts that are conditioned by our mind.

This place is beyond the mind, deeper, and peaceful too. It’s our unconditioned consciousness and it’s available all the time. We’re in the habit of overlooking it. We can learn to not add thoughts to the situation. Instead, we can recognize what’s going on and redirect attention to what’s most productive. Meditation is a great tool to observe the mind. It helps us be more aware of our thoughts so we can overcome them.  

Let’s Practice…

Take a moment to consider a challenging situation in your life without engaging in thought and you’ll find they’re not needed. Yes, thoughts are extra baggage that weigh us down. Once we learn to differentiate between life situations and our thoughts about it, we can easily resolve the source of the problem.

Pause and recognize the upset. Now write down your situation and below it, write what your thoughts say should be happening. Compare both of them and you’ll discover the upset is coming from your thoughts about the situation. Notice it’s not what people are saying or doing in the situation that’s upsetting nor the situation itself. It’s what you’re thinking and believing that cycle over and over again. When we’re upset by these troubling thoughts, we’re stuck in the ego mind that limits us to false, old, and irrelevant information. When we’re not aware, it blocks other possibilities.

Consider this truth…If the source of upset is the person or situation, then everyone would be upset. But they’re not.

Eckhart Tolle says: “If you think you’re so enlightened go spend a week with your parents.”

Your parents may upset you, but notice, they don’t upset everyone. So, the source of the upset is your mind. It’s your thoughts about them or the situation and you’re falling for it.

When was the last time you got upset about a family member, politics, news report, money, job, religion, or a loss? Know this for sure, your upset was created when you listened and engaged in the ego’s crazy ideas. And that’s how it goes, all day long.

Remember, we can’t control people, life situations, nor our thoughts. Instead, we can retrain our mind to accept reality and simply watch what’s happening rather than listening to our thoughts or following them. As we do, we begin to separate from the thoughts and mind as the upset naturally dissolves. Notice, once we withdraw, it has no energy to feed.

What We’ve Learned…

We must stop expecting life, people, things, the world… to be different from reality. This judgment happens in the mind when we’re around people and situations that trigger “what works” to upset us. However, we can learn to deal with these states of mind and respond rather than react. We can catch the distraction with practice. When we take responsibility for the source of the upset, we are in a position for change and growth.

Reclaiming Our Authority…

It’s our responsibility to reclaim what belongs to us. We must own our upset thoughts, feelings, and behaviors because when we do, we can change how we think, feel, and behave. In this way, we can respond rather than react and suffer. Remember to tell yourself… “It is what it is, now what”…to accept what is and consider what the best step forward would be.

Do you give away your power and authority by saying something like: “I’m upset because he made me mad?” It’s common to say “they made me”. Yet, when we know the truth, we can take back our authority. The truth is…You hurt yourself, You judge yourself, You reject yourself, and yes…“You make yourself upset”.

Isn’t it time to love ourselves instead?

Let’s try reversing what’s normal. Instead of the ego interrupting us, let’s interrupt the ego. The mind is a tool, our tool. So, to break the cycle, I challenge you to keep checking in with your attention to the present moment. Keep interrupting the ego by checking to make sure you’re here now and not lost in the mind. Remember, you are not your thought activity. Eventually, you will discover what’s been here all along…you, the real you.

Meditation is one of the best tools to practice quieting the mind. It’s a way of applying healthy boundaries with the ego mind to regain authority. As we practice watching our thoughts, we discover thoughts are happening to us. This is how we break free from our mind.

Healing our suffering happens when we grow. Yes, meditation disciplines the ego and reverses what we were taught and conditioned to believe. Gradually our mind relaxes, and we wake up out of thoughts in the mind. Through these mindfulness practices, we can learn to overcome our psychological state of mind and end the negative impact on our well-being.

Check out my blog: Meditation declutters our mind, it’s easy, and life changing – 

Be patient with yourself as you grow and proud of how far you’ve come. It takes great courage to do this inner work. Please return here for my next blog and consider sharing this blog with someone else. It may be exactly what they needed to hear.

For more insight consider reading Chapter 8, Understanding Thought & Chapter 9, The Busy Mind in my book…“Breaking Free from the Ego: A Course in Finding and Freeing Yourself”.  My book is available on most online retail sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or BookBaby Bookshop.

Checkout my new online course to “Find and Free Yourself”:

Online Course Overview: The key to end suffering and unhappiness is to break free from the busy mind. This course focuses on how you can gain authority over your life by learning how to quiet your mind. You will learn how to recognize, neutralize, and move beyond the voice of fear and doubt. The purpose here is to teach you how to live in freedom and inner peace all the time.

Consider the helpful links below for my newsletter, book, website, earlier blogs, and other opportunities. 

About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and greater fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from living in a higher dimension of spiritual consciousness and inner peace.