The title of this blog is only somewhat true, but by the end of reading you should hopefully get what I mean.
I have been practicing mindfulness through meditation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for about four years now. I learnt how to process negative thoughts and through meditation tried to stop or block negative thoughts or feelings. However, I have read something recently that really drove home that importance, no the pure brilliance of learning not to think.
Its seems like such a simple concept but it has taken me so long to grasp. and no doubt I will fall back down the rabbit hole of negative thinking a million more times in my life, but if I can stop negative thought only 10% of the time I know that it will be beneficial to me and people around me.
I thought I would write a blog about this because I know there are many people out there who suffer to some extent from over thinking and negative thinking.
Think of a negative thought? How do you feel? Does it make you feel bad, lower your self esteem or make you feel upset? Generally negative thoughts do this.
Now instead of thinking that thought don't think it.
If it comes into your mind, maybe that thought is 'I'm overweight',
just push it to one side, don't think it. Now how do you feel? The thoughts comes back, push it away. Now how do you feel?
If you don't think the thought then it doesn't exist does it? Its only alive in your head because you put it there.
Of course it takes a lot of practice and might take 100 times to get that one thought out of your mind but by pushing that negative thought away WE DO have the ability to reprogram our minds into not thinking that thought. I kid you not. You can reprogram your mind by using this technique.
Another thing I have learnt recently is that Imagination is a physical reality. So if you imagine something scary, your brain still reacts as it would if you really did see something scary.
All the thoughts going round in your brain all the time are exhausting your body. So if your replaying arguments it will affect you the same as if your were actually arguing, replaying a break up, it hurts you just as much as if you were going through the break up again. Replaying something horrible someone said, well you get me, its all reality even though it actually isn't.
There are some things in life that we really do need to think about (hence the reason I said the title to this blog is only somewhat true). For me I'd say I need to think about things such as work, eating healthy and having a balanced lifestyle so that I stay well and decisions which could be life altering such as moving house, or spending a large amount of money on a holiday or car.
The trick is to become mindful about what you think about in order to stop making yourself unhappy or stressed by overthinking, especially if those thoughts are primarily negative. Learn to notice which thoughts are important and beneficial to you and which are not or are, in fact the opposite.
How are these things that you let go round and round in your brain going to help you anyway? Is telling yourself you are not good enough, that you are overweight, that you will never be happy, that you're a failure, going to help you in any way what so ever? I think not. All these thoughts can do is make you feel rubbish. On the other hand, if you don't think these thoughts you wont feel rubbish.
Another thing that can help reprogram your brain from negative thinking as well as stopping yourself from thinking negative thoughts, is that you can replace these thoughts with more realistic ones and even with positive ones if you're feeling that way inclined. So think, I am good enough, so what if I'm a bit overweight, is it really the end of the world? Realistically, I have so much to be happy about and I can write a list of my achievements to show myself that I am not a failure.
The reason that we suffer is because we believe or latch on to negative thoughts. Choose not to suffer. You have the ability to stop thinking these thoughts.
One more thing I found useful on negative thinking. Our brains have a tendency to focus on the negative, its how we survived in the early days of mankind so that we could sense predators or threats. Therefore the negative thoughts were prevalent in order to survive.
We don't really have the same threats these days but the brain hasn't had the time to adapt.
On a similar note, when the brain is happy it is in it's restful, normal state and doesn't note so much to you that it is happy, because it isn't programmed to do so.
So, if you think there is something wrong with you for thinking negative thoughts or zoning in on all the rubbish things in your life when you're feeling that way out, its not your fault.
Now isn't that good to know?