You can think about how you think, you can think about how that is effecting you in your daily life, and you can resolve to change how you think. Whether or not we can control how we control our thoughts is another question and one that has been debated by philosophers forever. It's nothing new, people observe that when we do things we are doing them for reasons, and they derive determinism from that observation. One doesn't need to know anything about neurochemistry to know this.
I like to think of it this way, I AM my brain chemicals so if the brain chemicals can do it then it's possible for me to do. Science shows that thinking in different ways can alter brain chemistry, that changing habits change chemistry, that talk therapy changes chemistry. You don't need to take drugs to change your chemistry and you shouldn't just sit on your butt thinking that you don't need to do anything because your chemicals will just do it.
Most people are in control of themselves and can decide to do the right thing. Even those whom don't have the best control over there thoughts can see a specialist, or take medication. If you have a chemical imbalance, you take something to take care of it. It is an excuse when people say they cant control their thoughts.
We can absolutely control our thoughts. People control how they think, and if they execute what they are thinking, and how they would go about actually executing it. We control every piece of our body. Our minds are a very powerful thing, and is how people make and create some really great things.
We are presented with options of subject constantly from external stimuli, memories ect- we choose the topic and then continue the thought train from there.
Depending on how important or relevant the topic is determines how conscious or forefronted the thoughts are, usually by this stage it's in the form of dialog.
As you can see, every part of the process is controlled by the consiosness of us ourselvs.
Should be asking what "we" are exactly, I'm sure everyone here agrees where more than cells and signals, but this question is a good start
We definitely have control over our sense and thoughts as we are the one who choose what we think about. Logically and realistically, You can decide whether to think about something or not, to accept that thought or just ignore it and never bother to have it in mind. By that, it clearly appears that he have absolute control over our thoughts. Some people with psychological problems like obsessive compulsive disorder of thoughts suffer from annoying thoughts and believe that they have no control over their thoughts, however these thoughts are triggered by their anxiety fear and the sufferer has the ability even at that point to ignore the thought, even though he has to deal with his fears and anxiety first.
This is a very controversial topic, as scientists do not know if we are able to "control our thoughts" or even our actions. There are many theories out there saying that every thought and action we make is a result of our genetics, and the "machinery" of our brain. The people who support such theories claim that our consciousness is basically a very sophisticated trick, and in reality we are in no more control over our thoughts and actions than we are in control over someone else's.
It makes sense if you think about it. At the most basic level, our brain is just a series of neurons sending electric pulses to and from various systems of our body. No where in chemistry, biology or physics is there room for the concept of free will, as everything (at the atomic level) is just a result of chemical reactions. Now, (this is aimed towards those voting "yes") how would you suggest we are capable of controlling these chemical reactions? Simple answer is, we can't. Our thoughts are at the end of the day, the results of chemical reactions and I can't see how we would be able to control them anymore than you could control the thoughts of your mom.
To control your own thoughts means to spontaneously, freely will every thought that you think. A thought is controlled when it is produced by the only thing that could give us control over our lives: a free will. This means that we possess a self-governing will capable of indifferent choice.
To not control your thoughts means that you do not freely will your thoughts. This means that though you experience your own conscious thoughts, the cause of your thoughts is not your will.
If we did have free will, we, of course, could compose any thought we would like or not like--a power of indifferent choice. In addition, if we had control over our thoughts, we would expect a moment of deliberation in what to think. Some may say that this moment of deliberation does exist--that we do choose exactly what we want to think and then think it. This is a mistake. Our thoughts are ceaseless; therefore, we never have a true moment of deliberation of what to think. Instead, we simply have deliberating thoughts. In other words, we deliberate when we think because we deliberate actions and rethink thoughts, or lead up to a thought, but we don't deliberate to produce a thought. There is no such thing as deliberation that is thought-less. We simply don't experience any true pause in which no thoughts occur and we are able to freely will the occurrence of any particular thought. In this respect, we manifestly do not control our thoughts.
It is also a mistake to conclude control over thoughts based on thoughts that disagree with or reject other thoughts. One person may think, "I should lie and say I didn't steal the cookie from the cookie jar," and then immediately after think, "I shouldn't lie. It's a sin. I will admit the truth."
This example in no way proves control over thoughts. These thoughts, though opposing, arise naturally. There is simply no reason to think that we use our control, our free will, to produce them.
Descartes, father of modern philosophy, pointed to both the distinguishing characteristic of human beings and to the biggest curse of human beings when he made his famous statement, "I think. Therefore, I am."
The intrusive thoughts you may experience throughout the day or before bed illustrate the disconcerting fact that many of the functions of the mind are outside of conscious control. Whether we maintain true control over any mental functions is the central debate about free will. Perhaps this lack of autonomy is to be expected as the foundations for almost all the mind's labors were laid long before our ancestors evolved consciousness
Those following the principle that we can control thought are speaking to conscious thought process. Only when we are in a state of awareness can we exert control (such as those in practice of dream-bending always taking place outside of R.E.M. Sleep).
To summarize that we can coach ourselves to think a different way would be akin to saying that we can selectively (and at will) control our pancreas.
I walk a mile, then I say to self " I just walked a mile." Chemicals of the endocrine start pumping. I must take an action, before the brain/body learns wisdom. Through a baseball to first base, and he's out! He's safe!
Old feelings?...Maybe bad ones? Humans never forget pain/sufferings/guilt/shame/etc. Here's a way to change. Act your way to therapy/church/self help/those types. The result is: now that I took action, my thoughts are changing.