Counseling Austin Blog

Picture of many colorful hot air balloons flying

Rocks, Balloons, and Your Frame of Mind

In the same way that when you communicate with others your tone defines the intention of your message (ie saying, “Have a nice day” with a friendly tone vs saying the same thing with anger or contempt in your voice), how we frame our thoughts defines the impact the thought (or internal dialogue) has on our mindset.

The idea here is that attaching “rocks” to your thoughts will drag you down into unhealthy places whereas attaching “balloons” to your thoughts will uplift you to more healthy places.

Balloons and responding to discomfort

When you use anger, for example, to condemn a person for their beliefs and behaviors, YOU wind up feeling worse, and you have done nothing for yourself–you have only engaged negative thoughts directed outside of yourself (ie at them). You may briefly feel powerful or “better than them,” but very quickly you realize that you are not feeling so good. By definition, anger is an uncomfortable state whose evolutionary purpose is to create discomfort that motivates us to protect ourselves against a harmful threat. But anger itself is perfectly fine; as I just said, it is a survival mechanism that we absolutely need to have. When we use anger to fuel protective behaviors like setting and enforcing healthy boundaries (instead of condemning the other person), we are using the anger in a productive manner that frees us from a judging mentality that drags us down.

Rocks and responding to discomfort

In short, adding condemnation to anger is attaching rocks. It will drag you down. Another example we can address is anxiety. Being nervous about talking to a new person can drag us down if we engage in anticipatory rejection. Anticipatory rejection is a bag of rocks that drag you down into nonaction when you could have made a new friend or more.  Attaching balloons would be interpreting the anxiety as excitement and remembering that this other person is feeling their version of the same thing. It moves you towards action and growth.

Now let’s say that you just asked this person on a date and got shot down. That hurts. the Miracle Mind will feel the pain, but will attach balloons (ie “feed the White Wolf”) and either learn from the rejection or put it in a healthy perspective (which learning from it would certainly be a healthy perspective).