There is a pandemic disease in our country—thought pollution. Thought pollution is the random and continuous stream of negative thoughts that fill our head. It’s the over-thinking, repeatedly analyzing, excessive talking about the problems, issues, concerns, worries that plague our lives. The idea is that by thinking, talking, analyzing a problem, a solution will be found. But what is really happening, is that we are giving so much attention to the problem or worry that we are encouraging it to develop into an even bigger problem—this is thought pollution.
Focusing and rehashing troubles produces negative thoughts. The negative thoughts create emotional “trash” that pollute your life and cause you to become unhappy. To see what I mean, take a problem and discuss it at great length. You may initially feel a sense of relief from the unloading of the problem—that sense of relief comes from getting something off your chest—but you will find as you continue to talk about the problem, your mood will shift to an unhappy state. Thought pollution will cause you to become emotionally distraught—even though the problem hasn’t gotten any worse except in your mind. Your excessive thinking about it made it seem worse.
Thought pollution is highly contagious and dangerous to the wellbeing of each of us. But little if anything is being done to stop the spread of it. In fact, if you look around, you’ll probably see evidence of it everywhere and in nearly everyone. It presents itself as worry, fear, envy, hatred, anxiety, stress, unhappiness, anger—it takes away joy and causes the inflicted to live outside of the present moment because their minds are polluted with thoughts about things that have already occurred or have not yet happened.
Through my desire to unearth happy moments—free from thought pollution—I found the real answer is in being at peace and living in the present moment. As trite as that may sound—that is where true happiness is revealed. It’s not found, made, or produced by someone or something. Happiness is uncovered when we take away the worry, the anxiety, the stress, the over-thinking—the thought pollution—only then does happiness exist in each and every one of us.
The problem is that most of us have too much in our heads. The thoughts that are disserving to a person are what I refer to as “trash”. Taking Out the Trash (that negative and self-defeating thought pollution) allows a person to make room for empowering messages and peaceful living. But, if you simply Take Out the Trash and then continue to make more trash, peaceful and happy living will escape you—as it did me until I started living in the present.
Living in the present takes you out of yesterday, keeps you from attempting to experience tomorrow, today and instead let’s you enjoy this moment right now, free from thought pollution. In order to keep the garbage out, you have to stay here, in the present moment. But thought pollution masks itself as “the right path” to happiness. People erroneously believe that if they “think more” about their worries or troubles they will discover a solution and create happiness in their lives. However, the solution, really comes when we are relaxed, free of worries and open to receive new ideas. That is also where peace and happiness are revealed–from that natural state of letting the mind take a rest from thought pollution–then happiness surfaces from within.