Day 2047: A thought is just a thought

Yesterday, in a therapy group where many thoughts were expressed …

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… I said, “A thought is just a thought.”  One of the group members thought that thought was important, so I wrote it up on the board:

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The group members thought that was helpful, because the thoughts people expressed in the group included fortune telling, catastrophizing, mind reading, personalization, all-or-nothing thinking, over-generalizing, jumping to conclusions, labelling, shoulds, and other cognitive distortions.  For example, my expressed thoughts included, “The plane might crash on Saturday!”

As I’m writing this blog post, my thoughts include this one: “My shoulder, after my fall in January,  will never be right.”

We all have lots of thoughts. Thoughts are NOT the same as actions or accurate forecasts of the future. I’ve thought, many times, to challenge a thought with this question, “Is that a helpful thought?”

A thought is just a thought and a photo is just a photo.

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A thought is just a thought, a barrier is just a barrier, a verb is just a verb,  a memory is just a memory,  and a theme song is just a theme song.

Feel free to express your just thoughts in a comment, below.

Gratitude is just gratitude, so thanks to all whose thoughts helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to thoughtful YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Day 2047: A thought is just a thought

  1. Some people think deeper than others, Ann.

  2. Your post gets me thinking about the need to change my thinking unhelpful thoughts to helpful thoughts- but the effort to do so seems daunting. Too many unhelpful thoughts surface.

  3. You always prompt the most interesting thoughts, so it’s lucky that this thought also appeared in my email this morning:

    What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle. -Marvin Minsky, scientist and author (9 Aug 1927-2016)

  4. Just came back from walking the dog where we ran into my 83 year old neighbor who says he wants to kill himself and that he’d been standing in the street waiting for a car to hit him. I told him he wouldn’t want to make someone feel bad and he started to cry. I walked him home to his invalid wife and son who had just pulled in, called by the wife. My thoughts are sad. We’ve known them for 25 years. He’s at the beginning of dementia. She just had knee surgery. It’s overwhelming for them and their children.

  5. Was that really the MASH theme? I didn’t remember that. Wow, it was grim if it was theme. But those are just thoughts!

  6. How is your shoulder, Ann?

    • Good question, my thoughtful reader. I’m seeing the orthopedic doctor this morning; I’ll know more after that appointment.

  7. Thought is so powerful. Sometimes we keep it in place; sometimes we act on it

  8. Our thoughts shape our reality. The words we say; the images we make in our head; these make up the story that becomes what we are. It’s not even the experiences that make our life, but how we interpret and respond to our experiences.

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