A simple, liberating tactic to stop dwelling on negative thoughts and to free your mind of overly negative thinking about things you can’t control.
Negative thinking is something everyone struggles with from time to time, but if you notice that your mind keeps getting stuck on negative things that you have no control over, I have a tremendously helpful, simple trick that you can use to liberate yourself from this energy-consuming, anxiety-inducing way of thinking.
This is not to say you shouldn’t deal with your issues. This tactic is specifically for dealing with negative feelings that result from things you cannot change, like past events or how other people act.
One of my personal challenges regarding this issue has always been my tendency to dwell on my past mistakes. In my head, typically in the wee hours of a sleepless night, I go over a silly, meaningless blunder at work, an hurtful incident in the past with a friend or a fight with a relative.
Even though the event itself is in the past, I easily get stuck in this vortex of self-blame and exaggarating the details, resulting in an overall bad feeling with an extra bonus of feeling even worse for thinking so much negative thoughts! How annoying is that!
I recently came across a quote (cliché, I know) that really struck a nerve and actually opened my eyes about this negativity business. It really has changed the way I deal with negative thinking and hopefully you will benefit from it as well.
So here’s the revolutionary, liberating way to stop negative thoughts from controlling your mind:
Do not try to stop having negative thoughts.
That is impossible and will only lead to frustration. We are only human, after all, and no-one is so saintly that they can stop negative thoughts from ever entering their heads.
Instead, you should accept all thoughts and then make them leave your mind.
This idea is so perfectly summarized by this amazing quote I mentioned above, by a Chinese monk:
There is no need to feel bad about having negative thoughts. Let your thoughts flow as they are, both negative and positive, but the key is to stop nurturing the ones that are taking you down.
So, you need to wrap your head around this idea:
Do not waste your energy trying not to have any negative thoughts, or feeling bad about having negative thoughts.
Simply treat them as bypassing visitors in your mind, making consious effort not to let any of them make themselves at home.
Picture your mind as a room with an entrance and an exit. The negative thoughts will wander through the entrance, spend some time hanging out in the room, and then it is your job to see that they leave. Literally imagine them being removed, even kicked out through the exit. Commit to this, and it will work.
Make this a continuous, daily process where you remind yourself of this flow-thru mentality whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with negative thinking. Let the annoying thoughts come, and then let them go. Here’s a final quote to underline the importance of consciously doing the right thing with your mind:
“There are no enlightened people,
there is only enlightened activity.”
I really hope you found some motivation for freeing yourself from overly negative thoughts – drop a line or two in the comments if you liked these ideas!
Zen-vibes & hugs,