Some people might believe that their thoughts are their own and that their environment has no effect on them whatsoever. And there are going to be other people who will see how their environment does affect them; but this may only relate to certain factors that are relatively easy to notice.
Then there are going to be other people who realise that it is not just what they are aware of that is having an impact on what they are thinking, it is also what they are unaware of. Ones environment is then having a constant effect on what is going on in one’s mind.
But this doesn’t mean that one is therefore powerless and has no control. As people have shown who have risen up from a life of struggle and misery for instance; it is possible for someone to take control of what is going on in their head.
And as this takes places, one can do what they need to change their environment and if this is not possible, they can limit the affect that it is having on them. If one is not able to change their environment, through taking control of their mind, there is likely to come a time when this is possible.
When one is aware of the factors in their environment that are shaping their thoughts, it is going give one the chance to do something about them. They might not be able to completely remove them, but what they may be able to do is to remove themselves from them temporarily.
And this could be enough to improve their state of mind for a short time and allow them to focus their attention on something that is more constructive and life affirming. As this energy accumulates, one might be able to use it to gradually change their environment.
For example, if one lives in an area where there is very little greenery, they could visit an area where this is not the case. They will still to go back to the built up area where they live, but it will give them chance to think and feel differently for a short period of time and this might influence the rest of their life.
If one has lived in an environment for a certain time or for most of their life, they might not know how much of an impact it is having on how they think. Its effect may have been gradual and not something that has happened over night.
One is then in a position of not knowing what they don’t know. They could then feel uninspired, down and indifferent and this may relate to the kind of environments that they spend their time in.
Through reflecting on how one feels in each environment, one might be able to realise what environments are having a negative impact on their life. Or they could take a break from where they usually spend their time and see what impact this has on them.
It then doesn’t matter that one is unaware of what is shaping their thoughts; as through avoiding certain environments, one will be able to realise what is enhancing their life and what isn’t. This means that one is no longer in a reactive role, they are taking on an active role.
From a place of being oblivious to how their surroundings are affecting them, to gradually becoming aware of how they surroundings are affecting them. And this is something can becomes part of one’s life.
What this is all comes down is contrast and how it is only possible to become aware of how limiting one environment is by exposing oneself to another environment that is not as limiting. To create this contrast, one doesn’t necessarily have to completely change where they live, change their job or to travel the world.
It might be enough just to: drive a different way to work or use a different form of transport, to paint ones bedroom a different colour, to read a different book, to get in touch with a friend that one hasn’t spoken to in a while or to take up a new hobby.
This is not something that needs to happen overnight; one can gradually change where they spend their time and what they are exposed to. There is then less pressure and one is more likely to be consistent in their actions, instead of feeling overwhelmed and unable to commit to the changes that they need to make.
So if one is aware of what causes them to think in a certain way, it can lead to two advantages. On one side this means that one will know what they need to avoid.
And on the other side it means that one will know what they need to be around in order to think in a certain way. As the saying goes - ‘knowledge is power’.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.