I read on a website about meditation that "one characteristic that's commonly found in people who get depressed is a tendency to confuse thoughts and feelings, and this is another area where meditation can be helpful." and I could instantly sense that's something I've been doing and would like some clarity about.

On that website, they continue to explain "Yet another problem is that if we confuse thoughts and feelings, thinking that our thoughts are feelings, then we are actually in some sense out of touch with our feelings.", and I could also resonate with that. I feel a bit out of touch with my feeligs and don't really understand my feelings. I don't know if I feel depressed, but I also do not currently feel happy.

So I often feel disassociated from my feelings and not so aware of where I'm usually focused and what I usually think about. I think that's the reason why it has been feeling hard for me to apply these teachings into my life.

On the website they also explain that "It's much easier to work with our experience when we distinguish thoughts and feelings.", and that "Meditation helps us to do this. In mindfulness practice we notice more clearly the distinction between thoughts (verbalizations in the mind) and emotions (sensations that take place in the body). We also learn to see more clearly the way in which emotions give rise to thoughts, and thoughts give rise to emotions. Once we have started to see this, we realize that we can change our thoughts and therefore change our emotions.".

Do anyone have any tips on how I can better distinguish between thoughts and emotions, and if anyone else have experienced this, and what importance it has when applying the teachings of Abraham in my life?

asked 08 May '17, 18:47

spnx's gravatar image


edited 09 May '17, 00:44

IQ%20Moderator's gravatar image

IQ Moderator ♦♦


Have you tried looking at the questions here on IQ tagged "thinking" and "thought"? There are a lot of interesting um... thoughts to be found there. :) Don't give up! you will figure this out. Keep asking, keep seeking. You're in the right place. :) http://www.inwardquest.com/tags/thinking/ http://www.inwardquest.com/tags/thought/

(12 May '17, 01:06) Grace

@Grace: Thank you! I will do that :)

(12 May '17, 13:31) spnx

Feelings and emotions are actually PHYSICAL sensations in the body. The BODY. You can feel them like physically as if I would punch you in the arm. That is a feeling. A thought can generate a feeling but a thought has no actual built in emotion properties purely on its own.

Feelings can always distinctly be felt and captured. They point to truth. Thoughts can be slippery.

(15 May '17, 09:49) Nikulas

@Nikulas: My understanding of it is that thought creates the emotion, and later comes the physical feeling as a furter manifestation.

I understand it very well intellectually but I'm having some trouble making sense of how it works in practice. But I must really be making too much of it because I've never found anyone else with the same problem as me when I've googled around.

I've even bought some kindle books about "how to focusing" and think etc but so far I haven't found an explanation.

(15 May '17, 16:10) spnx

Essentially, what I'm wondering about is how does thinking (or focusing) works? I feel like I don't understand that and that is hindering me from being able to apply this that I want to :/

It seems like everyone "just knows" how to think or deliberately steer their mind in the way they want to, but I don't feel like I understand how to do that. I'm probably making too much of it, but still..

(18 May '17, 16:43) spnx

Whatever.. I give up this now.

(19 May '17, 17:34) spnx

Discipline and practise

(19 May '17, 21:47) Nikulas

@Nikulas: The first thing I wanted to say was "How can I practice when I don't even underestand how to direct my thinking in the way I want", like I understand how to practice playing piano and become better at it by practicing because it's tangible and easy to understand but in comparison it's like I don't understand how "pressing down a key" works to begin with, then it's not as easy to, most people probably already understand how to do that, but I'm struggling a bit with practicing this...

(21 May '17, 16:09) spnx

...and I think it has to do with that when I say "focus" or "thinking", what I actually mean is "making a vibrational shift" which equals to me feeling better. And then I make things hard for myself because I've already some negative momentum /feelings going and they're not going to instantly change when I change my focus. So I try to "fix" how I feel and I'm mixing thinking and feeling in a way that's not helpful. And that's probably also why I sometimes don't feel aware of my thoughts...

(21 May '17, 16:12) spnx

...Because I need to learn that thinking is thinking and feeling is feeling, and they are separate things. First, I have to make peace with my negative emotion so I don't need to "fix" how I feel anymore, and then practice deliberately directing my thinking for the sake of thinking. With more practice I think I will hopfully have a better understanding and personal experience of how it works. So I then, after learning how to deliberately direct my focus, can do the vibrational "work". Thanks.

(21 May '17, 16:17) spnx

I can give you a very different and practical solution? Change. Change everything in your life. Change route to work etc.

(21 May '17, 18:49) Nikulas

@Nikulas: Thanks! That's not bad advice actually. I'm planning to make some changes in my life very soon, begin to exercise, changing habits to better-feeling ones etc.

I just realised one thing and that I've beeen focusing so much on changing how I feel because I don't like feeling the way I do now and I remember how it feels to feel really good, even though it was some time ago. But actually, the whole thing is about focusing and thinking. The feelings come in response to my thinking...

(21 May '17, 19:41) spnx

...So what I think would help me is to focus more on what I'm doing with my thinking instead of trying to change the way I feel. It's interesting how I've screwing this up for myself. A few years back before fiding the teachings of Abraham I knew naturally how to focus powerfully. But I've noticed in other areas of my life too that I've got a bit confused about focusing, that my focus is scattered.

(21 May '17, 19:44) spnx

I give up now. I'm 21 and have been wasting 3 years of my life trying to practice this. It sucks so much when you know about this but can't figure out how to put it into practice or just the basics of deliberately thinking my thoughts. I'm done and I can't stand knowing this so clearly but not being able to do the "work". I don't really feel like continuing to live anymore.

(22 May '17, 11:30) spnx

"I give up now." That's a good start - surrender. Get out in nature. Go for a walk. Do something fun and stop obsessing over this. You are overthinking everything & you aren't listening to the answers people have taken the time to give you. Changing how you 'feel' will change your thoughts and the easiest way to do this is by doing something fun. Something which makes you happy.

(22 May '17, 13:06) ele

"I don't really feel like continuing to live anymore." I hope you don't mean that but if you are that depressed, you need to get some help now.

(22 May '17, 13:07) ele

If you take a look at how people radically change their lives then examine alcoholics anonymous....Those that commit to the programme literally change every significant and tiny details in their life to free themselves of the addiction. And way happier. Much easier if you feel stuck in life to just go on a change rampage to increase your flexibility in thinking. Hope it helps but it is a tried a true methodology.

(23 May '17, 05:44) Nikulas
showing 0 of 18 show 18 more comments

The importance of distinguishing between thoughts and feelings is that feelings have guidance built in- they can feel good and bad, and this will accurately reflect your inner wisdom.

A thought, on the other hand, is unguided. You will only know if a thought is appropriate for you by how you feel about it.

It is easier, in the short term, to justify a thought you feel bad about instead of changing it.

However, your feeling will not go away, it will only be suppressed, and the inappropriate thought will have all sorts of unpleasant side effects, which may require further inappropriate thinking to justify, causing a negative spiral.

Meditation causes a pause in your thinking so your true feelings can surface. They will be emphatically negative until the inappropriate thoughts and their justifications have changed. This will happen spontaneously during meditation, when you think appropriate thoughts in your creative workshop, and when you look for things you like in your everyday life.


answered 09 May '17, 06:13

cmc's gravatar image


Thanks a lot for your reply, cmc.

The reason I asked about this is because me mixing up emotions and thought, I think is making me confused on how to steer my thoughts in the way I want to. I also feel disconnected from my emotions and I just don't get it.

I understand everything very well in theory, but when I try to practice this "work", deliberately thinking my thoughts, I don't know how to do it. I understand that my thoughts creates my emotions, but I want the personal experience of it.

(10 May '17, 15:33) spnx

@spnx - "I also feel disconnected from my emotions and I just don't get it" - Isn't the solution in your question (and @cmc's answer)? ... Meditation. See How can I reconnect with my emotions? for more information. As for feeling more in control of your thoughts, that will happen naturally as you "reconnect" to inner guidance. At the moment, you are fighting existing momentum of unwelcome thought, thanks to Law of Attraction.

(11 May '17, 13:05) Stingray

@Stingray Thanks so much. I will check out that link, and practice meditation more! When I have tried meditation so far, I haven't had that much success with meditation when I've tried because if I understand meditation correctly, bascially it's consistently focusing (or thinking) on your breathing. But I sometimes have a hard time distracting away from focusing on how I feel and how I don't like how I feel, and I can't focus on that and my breathing at the same time. I need to practice it more.

(11 May '17, 17:39) spnx
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments
  1. feelings can be totaly separated from thoughts if your living in the moment (no thoughts of the past or futere, just now).
  2. you decide whether your thoughts (experiences) are positive ,negative or neutral. and by that decision follows the aproppiate feeling.
  3. in the first sentence the feeling guide the thought. in the second it is your choice when most people choose to let their thought guide their feelings.

answered 10 May '17, 09:45

myself's gravatar image


I must be the only one in the world who has this problem. I must really be making a too big of a deal of this than it is because I've googled around and not found anything on how to separate your thoughts and feelings and how to control your thinking. Everyone seems to just "get" how to do it but not me. I have to give this up somehow.

(11 May '17, 10:58) spnx

well... i think you didnt find anything because learning how to control and separate almost never come in one article or one video. it is a prosses. because the mind needs to adjust. even if there are sources of great knowlege (and there are) it depends what you take or hear from them and do accordingly , according to your vibration, existing belifes and thoughts.

(12 May '17, 04:48) myself

for example you can get every thing in order and be peacful from just the saying "get happy" without searching for any other piece of information in your life, but the truth is that it takes a life time to get what "get happy" means, and even after we got it our minds get in the way. it is just a human experience. so my point is that geting how to saperate and control is a prosesse

(12 May '17, 04:48) myself

@myself: Thanks. I think part of my problem is that I often don't seem to be so aware of my thoughts. So I don't notice if my mind is focused where I want it to go. People often talk about the "voice inside their head" and I don't have that voice that I can hear in my head. So then I instead try to "fix" how I feel and then I don't succeed with shifting my focus, because then I focus on how I don't like how I feel and I believe that it's only possible to think one thought at the time.

(12 May '17, 13:38) spnx

...so what I'm saying is that sometimes I don't understand how I can practice deliberate thinking. I really want to, I want to learn how to deliberately direct my thoughts and learn to more deliberately create my emotions. But it does not seem tangible to me and I seem to be pretty alone with this problem :( But for me right now, it's not like learning hwo to play the guitar for example, where it's easy to understand how tp practice it. But thanks again for your answers.

(12 May '17, 13:49) spnx

there are many methods to get there, i'll share mine: i do meditations listening to solfeggio tones https://**./solfeggio/ while listening i rest my mind by breathing deep and listening to the thoughts that comes. or quite my mine and start talking. The tone's fequency is very high so i'm quickly connected to my higherself and get knowledge. i trust the vibration to be high as i expect. and after the meditation i remember the new knowledge and belive in it so i can apply.

(12 May '17, 16:04) myself

@myself Thanks, but I think I'll have to give up soon because I'm making myself crazy with this. I've been trying meditation and many other techniques for a long time but not succeeded because I'm not getting how to control my attention. I get that my mind is thinking thoughts all of the time but what I can't find any information about is about how to deliberately think my thoughts. And then that I don't feel aware of my thoughts makes everything feel even more hard. Thanks anyway.

(13 May '17, 22:44) spnx

so mabey it is best to let it go, as you say.

(14 May '17, 08:21) myself

Okay... :/

(14 May '17, 16:13) spnx
showing 2 of 9 show 7 more comments

,Bear with me here...

I used to have an old Chicago Tribune column clipping that talked about something that was discovered with people who are depressed: They think too much!!! My mind, which has always worked too hard, too long, and got bored with even going to sleep, was in a perennial state of gloom and self-examination, doubt, and self-judgment (all negative thinking, of course!). Bedtime wasn't for sleep- it was the time I thought, thought, thought about my missteps through the day, and vowed to be more perfect next time. Perfectionism is not an admirable trait, despite what some may believe.

That said, I pursued a way to stop my depressive and negative thinking, and of course, discovered meditation. I found out that the article was absolutely correct: my thoughts were popping into my head as fast as popcorn pops....and it took me a tremendous amount of discipline to slow down my thinking...and then to just let the myriad of thought to pass by without judgment.

So here's the answer to your problem, in a saying I heard about 35 years ago, and has helped me ever since:

Depression cannot hit a moving target!

So, when you get to musing on whether you are thinking or feeling, tell yourself, "Uh, oh! I am doing it again!"

Thoughts come and go, but whether they bother you or not is up to you! If you are "judging" your thoughts as "bad" or "good", then it is probably time to clear your cache, and move your body....Which will force your mind to quiet. When I got mad once upon a time (four kids ten and under can do that), I got off my acetabulum, and gave the kitchen floor a good, old-fashioned scrub....It takes twenty minutes to burn up adrenaline...and at about that time, that adrenaline, and anything else negative, was pooped out.

End result: I felt I had done something positive with my negative judgments about my feelings of anger...and feelings are just feelings; they are neither good nor bad, just reactions to outside (and inward) stimuli. It is thought which decides the consequences of feelings. Anger can provide fuel for change; it can also burst forth and cause harm. It is what I do with input to my mind, which my mind co-processes with both sides of my brain, thus making it sometimes rather hard to know what stimulus led to what thought, which led to what feelings, which led to what other thoughts or actions I could take...and so on.The human brain is very complex, and we are just beginning to really know what the wiring in there really does. Meditation took me to this self-discovery.

Thanks for a great question!



answered 11 May '17, 19:07

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 11 May '17, 19:10

thoughts are of reactions
to choices made or to be
made where emotions are
physic reactions to senses


answered 25 May '17, 19:42

fred's gravatar image


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Asked: 08 May '17, 18:47

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Last updated: 25 May '17, 19:42

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