Tag Archives: beliefs

What are beliefs?

 

So if this blog is mostly about beliefs, and all stress is caused by beliefs, the first question that must be asked is what are beliefs?

Some people regard beliefs as simply religious beliefs. Others will say beliefs are inherently subjective and hence are different to things like facts. All these people are simply expressing their beliefs about beliefs! A belief can be defined as a person’s views, opinions, conclusions or thoughts about something. It is their answer to the question “what do you reckon?”.

But the most accurate word the describe a belief is “understanding”. A belief is an understanding. Such an understanding consists of the data which has enabled the construction of of the understanding.  And it is this logical construction of the data which qualifies the understanding to be labelled as accurate by the person possessing the understanding. Of course, this does not necessarily mean the understanding is correct, but the person will believe it is. Here’s some examples of beliefs:

I believe that is a tree I just walked past.

I believe that I am not a good swimmer.

I believe that the feeling I’m currently having is anger.

I believe that I should stop procrastinating so much.

I believe the thing I am hearing is a car driving past.

I believe this illness I have is detrimental to my life.

I believe the problem with the world is that there is too much hate.

I believe that scientific research is always accurate.

I believe that life is about letting go of rigid beliefs.

I believe that I need to believe that I am a valuable and worthy person.

I believe people push their beliefs around to0 much.

I believe today is Tuesday.

The human mind is governed completely by beliefs. Beliefs govern our assessment and response to events. And so our actions, behaviour, habits and personality are all a result of the things we believe.  Our emotions are also governed by beliefs, and even our memories are simply our beliefs on what has happened in the past. No form of communication between people can ever take place without beliefs being involved. In fact, without beliefs you couldn’t even move a muscle in your body! There would be nothing to govern what movement to make!!!!

 The mind holds a vast system of thousands upon thousands of beliefs, all held in a priority format of differing importanceThis system of priorities makes sure we are always attending to what we believe has the most importance. For example, I might believe that I really should go to the gym as I haven’t been there in a long time. But I might also believe that right now the more important priority is to rest. So despite believing I should go to the gym, my actions are dictated by what I think the priority is – in this case resting.

Beliefs are the only factor within the human psyche which can be psychologically worked on and addressed. But since so many of these beliefs are deeply hidden away within the subconscious brain, people can be totally unaware of the many beliefs involved in their decision making. Next time you make a decision, try asking yourself “what made me decide that?”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cause of stress: Is it caused by beliefs or events?

If you listen to different people talk about stress, you will find you can break it down into two opinions on what is the cause of such stress. The first opinion is that the stress is caused by the situations we encounter. It is claimed that people who are stressed are having the wrong life events, and need to make better decisions on where to take their life. I.e. “You’ve got the wrong job, wrong house, wrong partner, wrong friends etc etc.”. This is the philosophy which leads people to believe life is about “finding your path”, and that people can be in need of guidance down their correct path.

For example, say you are driving to work and you take a wrong turn and end up on a road that is completely congested with traffic. As you sit there looking at the car in front blocking your way, you start to get a bit stressed out. You glance at the time and notice that you’re going to be late. Your heart rate goes up, you start breathing faster and getting very frustrated and angry with yourself for taking the wrong turn. You think to yourself “if this event hadn’t happened then I wouldn’t be so stressed. I’m having the wrong event – that’s the cause of my stress”.

The second opinion is that stress has nothing to do with the events we encounter, but is rather triggered by our mental assessment of such events. If two people can face the same event, with one being stressed and the other not so much, it means they are assessing the situation via different beliefs. It is our thoughts and beliefs which are the real cause of our stress, even though events do play a role in how we come to hold certain beliefs.

Going back to the traffic example, say you then starting thinking about the real cause of your stress. Maybe you thought “hang on, does every person who is in this situation get stressed?” Because if the situation of getting caught in traffic and running late to work directly caused psychological stress then it would be impossible for someone to be in that situation and not feel stressed. Yet surely there are some people who may even laugh at the situation. This is because they are viewing the event though different belief systems.

This is something that I discovered firsthand when full blown panic attacks would come out of nowhere even when I was doing something like watching a favourite TV show while on holiday or eating a favourite meal. I learnt quickly that the difference between misery or happiness has little to do with what situation I am in, but is instead governed completely by what such situations mean to me and what I was thinking.

None of this means we shouldn’t try to change a situation we don’t like. Obviously if you are in a relationship where you are being beaten up, it would make sense to try and get out of that relationship. But if you want to know what the cause of your stress is  – look at your beliefs.  

Is it ok to claim something is correct?

Well here goes, my first blog post! How exciting.

As I was writing the ‘about’ section of this website, I thought about how much of a taboo the subject of discussing beliefs is in society. The real deep subjects of life seem to be avoided most of the time, because when they are discussed it becomes quite apparent just how vast the chasm is between the various philosophies people live by.

People have fought and died over difference of beliefs for centuries. Many people believe that the answer to such divisive behaviour is to say “everyone is entitle to their own beliefs” and leave it at that. But is that really the answer? Could it be possible to examine and criticise beliefs without actually meaning any disrespect to the people holding them? Well, in my view, OF COURSE IT IS!

I remember watching a video on youtube from GREG NEVILLE (check him out!), and in the comments someone had written  something to the effect that Greg was not to be trusted because he was so sure of himself and was claiming certain things to be correct, and other things to be incorrect. After all, who could possibly have the answers to what life is about? Who could possible understand the big questions of life? A person who is humble and says “I don’t know, look for yourself” is much more likely to be speaking truth, according to the commenter. This commenter was not aware of the massive contradiction he was making. He himself was claiming that something was correct and incorrect. You can’t really get away from that. Everyone time you open your mouth to make a statement, no matter how trivial, you are stating what you believe to be right or wrong. To say “Hang on I’m just gonna go to the toilet” is stating you believe that the action you are taking represents you going to the toilet, and that this is a correct assessment of the situation at hand (don’t ask me why I used that for an example haha).  Next time you hear someone say “there’s no such thing as right and wrong” ask them “is that right, is it?” Hmmm.

So yes, it is completely ok to say that one thing is more correct than something else. Of course, it’s important to give your reasons on why you think something is correct. That way, other people can come back with their reasons on why they think their view is correct. Thus a healthy debate is born, and everybody grows as a result.

I want to leave this post with a thought about the bigger questions of life and what it’s really all about. Knowing the answers to questions of purpose in life has been so elusive throughout history that the notion of someone actually answering these questions has become a matter of comedy. Who are they to say they understand life? Well, I just want to point out here that there is no logical reason why it would be impossible for someone to have such understanding. There is no logical reason why the purpose of life can’t be explained. And to say otherwise is really quite a strange thing to believe in my opinion. But if you do, go ahead and give your reasons for why you think you are correct, and I will give you mine.