Do you know that little voice inside your head that maintains a constant dialogue with yourself throughout the day? You might not think about it or notice it often enough, but that little voice is more important than you can ever imagine. In fact, it has an impression on your daily life.
In psychology, we call that inner voice your inner mind chatter. Some of us listen to it a little too much, while some of us don’t listen to it enough. The key is finding a healthy balance with your mind chatter and knowing when it’s time to listen to it — as well as when it’s time to turn it off.
The truth is your mind chatter can be both positive and negative. It can be a source of both pessimism and optimism. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that it provides us with a variety of diverse types of thoughts throughout the day — four distinct types of thoughts to be exact.
So, what four distinct types of thoughts do we experience?
Your mind chatter can be broken down into four major types of thoughts — factual thoughts, fantasy thoughts, future thoughts, and judgement thoughts. Each thought plays an enormous role in your day-to-day life and understanding the difference between them is especially important.
Let’s take a closer look at each type of thought and what they represent in your life:
- Factual Thoughts – these are thoughts that state a fact. They resemble something that’s really happening and often requires a certain type of action. For example, a factual thought would be, “I’m hungry,” or, “I’m tired.”
- Fantasy Thoughts – these are thoughts that often run rampant and can eventually take on a mind of their own. They represent our imagination and often cause us to give in to temptation. For example, a fantasy thought would be, “When will he be home?”
- Future Thoughts – these are thoughts that are concerned about what the future has in store. Also called ‘what’s next thoughts,’ a future thought can lead to excessive worry if not controlled. For example, a future thought would be, “I think I’ll fail the test.”
- Judgement Thoughts – these are thoughts that focus on what you like or don’t like about a certain situation, person, or event. It can lead us to behave in certain ways, whether we mean to or not. For example, a judgement thought is, “He’s not my type.”
Your mind chatter comes in a variety of forms, but they’re each just as important as the next. Your factual thoughts help define what you need at any given point. Your fantasy thoughts are often tied to what you want. Your future thoughts define your worry. Your judgement thoughts define preference.
Learning to not only listen to these thoughts but use them in a way to stay positive — opposed to negative — is extremely important when living your day-to-day life. They can do so much good for you, but they can also do so much bad.
If you’re struggling to control your mind chatter and need advice on using them in optimistic ways, contact Danny Stillman Coaching. Together, we’ll learn how to better your life in every and any way possible. I can’t wait to hear from you.