“Our life is what our thoughts make it”
This quote from the Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius holds as much truth now as it did nearly 2,000 years ago. The thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we experience every day shape the nature of our reality.
Countless hours have been spent debating and discussing the implications of such quotes. The idea that we are our thoughts can open a seemingly bottomless rabbit hole of questions about the nature of the human mind.
Are we what we think, or are we the entity that thinks? Can we change our very nature by focusing on changing our thoughts?
We won’t follow that rabbit hole today, but we will work from a generally accepted assumption that our thoughts define our reality, and that we can take control of this reality and make adjustments to it that can enhance our quality of life.
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy is one tool that can help us learn to recognize and understand our thought and feeling patterns, with the goal of creating new, more effective patterns.