Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Think carefully, speak wisely

Thinking too much about everything we see, hear and experience often results in our overreaction to problems which are sometimes imaginary. It gets us nowhere and leaves us fretting and fuming for no reason. Overthinking drains our mental and physical capacity to deal with situations and make sound decisions and proper judgements. It tempers our power of reasoning. Just as we look before we leap, we need to think before we speak. When we think too much, we are more likely to say something insignificant or hurtful or say things that should best have been left unsaid.

Renowned spiritual teacher and founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation Eknath Easwaran compares our continuous stream of thoughts to bumper-to-bumper traffic. He says, "We can learn not to let one thought tailgate another. Tailgating thoughts are a danger signal. People who are prone to anger—or to fear, or greed, or hostility—allow no distance between one thought and another, between one emotional reaction and the next. Their anger seems continuous—just one anger car after another, bumping into each other on a fast, crowded highway."

Slowing down in thought and word, as Easwaran advises, helps us say the right thing at the right time, and in a measured tone. When we think less, we speak less, and when we speak less, we become more sensitive and receptive to others. We also learn to listen more. It allows us to channel our thoughts into meaningful words and actions, and build harmonious relations with people we interact with.

Takeaway: A mind in overdrive is an accident waiting to happen.

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