The mind is made of imagination, and it can come up with some outlandish ideas. Having a crazy thought, (or a bunch of them) isn’t really a problem. I’ve had them. I can imagine all sorts of things, particularly things I would never act on or believe. What is important is whether you believe them and the thoughts you have about the crazy thoughts.
Stephen King, the author who writes horror novels has crazy thoughts all day. His response is probably something like, “Yeah… that’s a good one.” He gets paid good money to share his horrific thoughts. Lots of people like to read them and see movies about them. Crazy horrific thoughts aren’t a problem for him. Stephen King can even convert his crazy thoughts from mind-clutter into money.
How you think about your thoughts makes the experience very different.- A fiction writer might enjoy the thought. Someone else might react with fear about having such thoughts. Your relationship to your thoughts matter. For example, there was a time when I had thoughts about taking my own life. While driving my car, I would imagine veering into oncoming traffic in front of a big truck. It was not something that I felt I would act on, but it would still occasionally show up in my head.
As I became more aware and this would happen my response was more like, “Wow, that’s an interesting thought. I wonder what part of my mind that is coming from?” Then, I would spend time watching that part of my mind (or emotions) tossing out such thoughts. I’d sometimes discover something interesting, like a belief. That’s an aware and mindful way to observe a thought.
Without such mindful awareness, we have the habit of believing what we think or react with fear. When we believe what we think we make the thought seem real, and we create strong emotions. It is not thoughts that create emotions. It matters whether we believe the thought, and what we think about them.
If I’m thinking about taking my own life, and believe I might do it, I could create strong fears. l might then think, “I’m really messed up” “I’m scaring myself”. Once in this loop of belief things can grow to “I” am the “one” thinking them, it is reasonable to think, “There is something seriously wrong with me.” Then your narrative might spiral to fears of others finding out about your thoughts.
It can be emotionally self-destructive to believe what you think. Or to believe that you are responsible for everything that your mind thinks. It helps to be aware that the mind can create crazy thoughts, images, and scenarios all on its own. It’s not you who does it. It is like having a television in your brain and it plays all these different channels and you don’t control the remote.
Getting Control of Crazy Thoughts
It is possible to change the thoughts your mind creates. The first step is to get control of your thoughts about your original thoughts. You can get control. The first step is to become aware that the mind does this all by itself. You are not the mind. This will keep you from spending so much emotional energy believing them. Through guidance, study, and practice, you will develop a better relationship with your mind. You can use specific strategies to gain control of your random (and often scary) thoughts.
Here’s your question: Do you wish to be controlled by your mind or be in control of your mind. It’s your choice.
It’s your reaction and emotional response to your thoughts that are most telling. If you are a fiction writer, or movie maker, you might even make it profitable. In the beginning instead of trying to stop certain thoughts, you are better served working on your relationship with your mind. If your response is curiosity, compassion, and wonder at how an imagination dreams up such things, then it can be entertaining. This makes for a healthy relationship with your mind.
If you are aware that you are not your mind, then it is easy to have curious thoughts. If you are identified with your mind, you will feel as though you are the one directly thinking those thoughts and think of your “self” as crazy. This is what happens when you identify with your mind’s imagination. Of course, this isn’t true. You don’t usually know what your next thought will be. You don’t know what your mind will be thinking 60 seconds from now. You can watch your thoughts come and go. At times you do consciously create them or have a conscious line of thinking. But often your unchecked random thoughts just happen.
A simple start in awareness is to notice how you talk about the source of these thoughts. Is your phrasing “I am thinking crazy thoughts…” or is your phrasing more like “my mind is coming up with crazy thoughts”.
It’s quite normal to have crazy thoughts at times. The important matter is your relationship to them. Do you believe them or not, and how do you react to them?
This will seem normal because it is what most people do. If you want to change this, don’t try to stop them. Instead work on having a curious, compassionate relationship with them. Later, you might decide that you don’t want to stop them a at all. You might decide that they are a fun way to tell stories, write novels, and maybe make movies about them. In these ways you can have an emotionally healthy relationship with an active imagination.
With awareness you have the power of choice how you feel about such thoughts. Without awareness you are at the effect of your thoughts, rather than at the cause. People who are happy and conscious in business and in personal relationships have trained themselves to be the cause what they think and do. If you decide to change your relationship to your mind and thoughts the Self Mastery Course has excellent practices to get started.7