No amount of willpower will prevent bad ideas from occurring
My thesis and the premise of this essay is that, contrary to the majority of publications on the internet that claim you can stop negative thinking, the opposite is true. In the same way as trying to stop negative thoughts is like trying to capture water in your hands, the more tightly you press, the less water there is to hang on to.
Understanding how your mind works is essential to comprehending the structure of thoughts and their functions. Our thoughts are a part of our consciousness, and even the collective consciousness is comprised of thoughts (the shared beliefs and attitudes of our collective society).
Managing one’s negative thoughts
Many of you who are reading this are dealing with your own issues of negative thinking and how to deal with them effectively. You want to break free from the mental prison that keeps you locked up and processing the same thought patterns over and over again in your head. Even while sleeping, your brain processes roughly 70,000 thoughts per day. Many of those thoughts are repeats of the previous day’s thoughts and feelings. As in a play or a movie, I use the word pattern to illustrate how your thoughts are organized around a central theme or motif.
This section contains some helpful hints and suggestions to help you improve your capacity to notice and reduce the number of negative thoughts. First and foremost, some some background knowledge.
You’ve got a monkey on your back
My thoughts were akin to having a monkey on my back one night while meditating, and I realized what I was thinking. The image my subconscious mind painted when I asked it to paint a picture of the negative ideas was similar to this. It was sticking to the back of my neck, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get rid of it. I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t remove the monkey off my back (bad thoughts), could I at least live with the monkey and turn down the volume on its relentless chatter? – a resounding success! Monkey was intrigued by the concept and agreed to collaborate.
These days, I see the monkey sitting peacefully under a tree, nibbling on bananas, in order to keep it from thinking about things that are harmful to him or her. Allow your mind to construct a tapestry of possibilities for you to choose from and enjoy. “The true evidence of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination,” as Albert Einstein put it so eloquently:
My suggestions for dealing with your negative thought patterns are as follows:
Negative thoughts feed off whatever input that you give them permission to feed off of
In my situation, it’s similar to the monkey. If you entertain ideas about how fat you appear in the mirror, your brain is actively forming neural connections in order to validate that view in the first place. When you think about something, nerve branches and networks begin firing in order to connect to one another, forming a network of thoughts. This occurs because the mind believes you will think about it again in the future. According to neurologists, nerves that fire together connect together, which is a similar concept to this remark.
Your thoughts are organized around a central theme, much like a movie. What, in your opinion, is the underlying topic of your everyday thoughts and reflections? Is it preoccupied with the past, the present, or the future? Is it something to do with your health, work, relationships, sex and money, or something else entirely? How much time do you spend deluding yourself with these thoughts till you feel completely exhausted?
Break the cycle of violence
Sometimes it feels like you’re trapped in a vortex that you can’t get out of – you keep spinning around and around while being dragged deeper and deeper into the machine that is your life. It is possible to break the cycle early by not allowing the thoughts to take root, as previously explained. Don’t add gasoline to the fire by thinking more of the same old things.
There is a valid reason for your negative thinking patterns. What is the explanation for this? To what do you think they’re (the negative ideas) are communicating with you? “What if you fail and never achieve your life’s purpose and dream?” is one of my recurring negative thoughts that spurs me to action.
Now is the time to live out your purpose
My spine tingles just thinking about it because it means so much to me to be living my life’s mission and doing what I love doing. Having negative thoughts serves as a constant reminder to me that I must always develop myself and fulfill my purpose NOW, rather than in the future. The concept serves as a wake-up call to get to work and never to lose up hope. Was it something you did or become that your negative thought pattern was directing you toward?
As with a virus, negative ideas infect your mind in small groups and spread throughout your body. They are on a mission, and that objective is to invade your subconscious mind. They operate under the motto “whatever it takes.” So, what is the best course of action when a powerful force is moving in the opposite direction of you? – operate with the force of nature, travel with the current. It takes considerable mental discipline at first to be the observer of one’s own cognitive process.
Increasing your awareness of your thoughts
I believe that becoming conscious of your ideas is the greatest line of action to take at first. Take note of the frequency (even keep a diary if it helps). Is there any truth to the concepts that you are thinking about? What is the polar opposite of such point of view? If a bank robber approached the cashier and demanded money, would the teller take the gun out of his hand to protect himself? Perhaps this isn’t the case. The best course of action for the teller would be to hand up the money (give in to his demand). Once the robber’s requirements have been completed, it is proper to take action, such as calling the police (in your case question and challenge the thoughts by bringing them to the forefront of your mind).
Here’s an interesting point of view that incorporates some Buddhist principles. Who is the one who is doing the thinking? Of course, when you say “I” are thinking, you are referring to yourself. What is the best way to tell if you are thinking? Demonstrate it! If I asked you to take on the role of the observer of a thought, who would be looking at the observer of the observer? Rather than getting carried away with riddles, you’re confronting the notions and, as a result, short-circuiting the entire process.
The human mind is difficult to understand
It is a sucker for patterns. It is really curious about what will happen next, how, when, and why. So play a joke on it, just like you would on a small child. It will eventually give up and retreat if you give it enough time and practice. This is because you did not add fuel to the fire by embracing its thought process. By giving up, the mind will continue to assault you with negative thoughts, but they will not be as intensely charged as they would be if you had not given up.
As a result, you will be unable to cease negative thoughts. You have the ability to control your thoughts so that they serve you nicely. You will never be able to domesticate a wild tiger since its inherent instinct is to hunt and kill. You aren’t thinking about a tiger, but your thoughts aren’t as volatile as his. Practice patience when it comes to caring to your thoughts, just as you would with a garden. Identify the weeds (thoughts) that aren’t serving you and put a stop to them immediately. Every day, remind yourself to hold on to your empowering beliefs and thoughts. Most importantly, remember that you are here to learn and grow as a child of the cosmos and not to take yourself or the world too seriously.