I don't believe that. I believe it is our emotions which creates the thoughts, rather than the other way round: our brain's input is the raw experiences which happen to us, which we have emotions about before we have thoughts. In an adult it may only take a split second for the emotion to precede the thought, but in people without language (babies and very small children) they don't even have thoughts - just the wordless emotions.
It's a loop, emotion can precede thought and thought can precede emotion, at a push I'd say it's thought that comes first. When I say 'thought' I don't just mean spoken-word thoughts like "What a horrible day", I mean also images, sounds, and the kind of subconscious, wordless meaning-making you refer to when you mention babies and children. When we're in low moods, things look bleak, when we're in high moods, things look great. When we think some thoughts we become depressed, when we think other thoughts we become very happy. Either way, it's all thought, not reality, and if you can stop seeing the thoughts as reality then they can stop bothering you. Emotions then become curious physical sensations and you can avoid getting sucked into the downward spiral of a bad mood.
We don't construct reality in our heads; reality is out 'there', something beyond ourselves. If it wasn't, we could never have a common language, culture, etc. because we'd all be too busy babbling to ourselves, living in our self-created reality that had nothing in common with anyone else's. We can have different perceptions of things, but we have different perceptions of a universal reality. And really, those different perceptions only go so far: we put our hand in fire, it burns and we snatch it away. We feel an urge to go to the toilet, we run. No matter how you use words, you cannot alter that.
Yep, there's a reality out there, and we are not privy to it. Each of us does not interact with reality but a highly filtered, customized, internally created version of it. We are reacting to our perceptions and judgements, not the "world out there". And the world out there changes based on what we think about
it. When you're in a bad mood, the world seems to change around you, same when you're in a good mood. A change of understanding or a change of where you focus is can completely transform your experiences. As for burning hands in fire, that's nowhere near as simple as you suggest; pain is not an objective thing, it's something that is hugely tempered, influenced and co-created by the mind. That's why hypnobirthing works, that's why people don't notice a cut in their finger until they see it, that's why placebos work. I agree we operate within a reality with certain properties, if I run in front of a train I will get hit and get seriously injured or more likely die. If I am seriously injured, it's the meaning I make around that experience that is so
open to creation, interpretation and change. I could become depressed, I could become extremely happy, based on my thoughts around it.
If you want to pretend that running to the toilet is great fun and that pain is all in your mind, all power to you. Me, I know it's a lot more fun not being chained to the bathroom and being able to eat without pain.
Yeah, I don't enjoy accidents, but in the moment if they are going to have to happen, they are going to have to happen. Ideally we want to be healthy or in remission, but on a bad day, I do try to enjoy things as best I can. To be honest it's much less about
enjoying things, and more about
knowing that any thoughts I have about
the experience are mental noise that do not have to be believed if they are not serving me.