Have you ever been in a situation where you can not get rid of obsessive thoughts about a certain person? About what he said or did, and how much you were surprised or offended? Sometimes, when someone hurts us, our children or relatives, gossips behind our backs or confuses us with our actions, we continue to think about it for hours, and sometimes even for weeks.
You wash dishes, drive a car, walk a dog, but you can not forget how untruthful, angry or self-centered the words of your abuser were. His face, his words, continue to float in his head. Five hours, five days, five weeks later, he is still in your head – his face is in front of his eyes, even if all this time you have never spoken to him.
How to learn to avoid such situations?
How to stop thinking about a person or an unpleasant incident – about what can or should have been done differently – when the same thoughts continue to spin in your head, rewind and play again and again?
Maybe it’s not a person. The fact is that you received or did not receive what you need, what you do not have, and what is wrong with your life. But most often we are tormented by thoughts about people who are to blame for all this in our eyes.
These thoughts poison our lives because such experiences can cause a person both emotional and physical harm. Studies show that poisonous thoughts make our brain sick and unhappy. When our minds are constantly engaged in thoughts of bickering, resentment or loss, it begins to marinate in a sea of harmful chemicals and stress hormones that catalyze almost every existing disease in the world. Scientists are increasingly reporting that negative thoughts play a big role in diseases such as depression, cancer and heart and autoimmune diseases.
Moreover, it is simply unpleasant. You seem to be drawn into a rotating merry-go-round, which is fun to spin a couple of times, but then it starts to make you sick and your head suddenly circles. You want to get off, but you can not.
We try very hard to avoid everything poisonous: we buy organic products, try not to eat harmful food, get rid of chemicals. We are looking for the freshest products, we use organic cleaning agents and natural cosmetics. But with all this, we pay very little attention to purifying our thoughts. How can you get rid of negative emotions and memories?
Ways to get rid of negative thoughts
Choose the method that seems most effective to you, and act!
- Keep silent and pause. This will give you the opportunity to cool down a little, calm down and choose the most sensible tactics for resolving the conflict. And sometimes, over time, what annoys us is forgotten by itself.
- Wait and see what happens next. In conflict situations, very often you want to stand up for yourself and give your offender a worthy rebuff. That’s why we are so worried about what to say or do in such cases.
- Do not play the game “Who is to blame?” To disassemble events that happened in the past and try to decide who is to blame (even if you blame yourself) – this is unproductive. Bad things or misunderstandings most often happen, as a result of a series of events. It’s like a domino effect. In the end result, it is impossible to blame only one person. First happens one, then another, then the third. And that’s what happens.
- Do not fall under the mood of another person.
- Start with the most important problem. Meditation teacher Norman Fisher argues that whatever happens to us, the most important problem is always anger. It creates a cloud of emotion, which prevents a balanced and convincing answer. In conflict situations, the biggest problem is anger. Work on yourself – meditate, do gymnastics, go for a walk. Speak as little as possible and let yourself cool down. Do whatever you want – but before you deal with someone, figure it out with yourself.
- Anger warps your mind. It is impossible to think clearly and look for a creative and thoughtful approach to solving a difficult situation if you are angry.
- Do not try to understand the actions of another person. Ask yourself: if another person tried to understand what you are thinking about or why you are doing what you are doing, how close are the guesses to the truth? No one but you knows what’s going on in your head. So why try to understand what your interlocutor thinks? Most likely, you will be wrong, which means that you are simply wasting time.
- Your thoughts are not facts. In other words, do not believe everything that you think. Our body is acutely experiencing our emotions – fear, tension, anxiety or stress. We experience emotions on a physical level and often perceive our sensations as an affirmation that our thoughts are a fact.
- How can I use this situation for personal growth? The meditation teacher and psychologist Tara Brach argues that by focusing on anger, offended by someone’s words or actions, condemning the interlocutor and angry at how we were treated, we replenish our personal stock of suffering. Situation + our reaction = suffering. Understanding your feelings and wondering why we are so affected by this or that situation and what these feelings say about ourselves is a great chance to learn something new about yourself. Situation + reflections + mental presence “here and now” = internal growth. Concentrate on your inner development.
- What was, has already passed. Remembering the past, we often try to understand what could be done differently to prevent a quarrel and its unpleasant outcome. But what happened yesterday, is just as much in the past, like what happened a thousand years ago or during the Mayan times. We can not change what was then, and we can not change what happened a week ago.
- Learn to forgive. For your own good. We are very devoted to our sorrows and thoughts about all the bad things that happened to us. Yes, it was. Yes, it was terrible. But is it really the only thing that shapes you as an individual? We forgive others not only for their own sake. We forgive to free ourselves from our personal suffering, to stop holding on to the past and live on.
- Move to another space. The teacher of self-awareness and psychologist Trish Magyari advises using visualization. Studies show that this method very effectively helps to get rid of inflammatory thoughts that are inflamed by our consciousness. Personally, I am always helped by this image: imagine that you are at the bottom of a deep blue ocean and watch the way it swims by. Watch how your thoughts dissipate.
- Answer the offender well. Imagine how you send a beautiful white light ball toward this person. Put it inside this ball. Surround it with rays and keep light around it until your anger evaporates.
- Take a one and a half minute break. To free the mind, you need to break the course of your thoughts. Neuropsychiatrist Dan Sigal argues that “within 90 seconds the emotion will rise and fall, like a wave near the shore.” You only need 90 seconds to get out of any condition. Give yourself 90 seconds – breathe in and go out 15 times – not to think about a person or situation that upsets you. This will help break the vicious circle – and with it the power that your negative thoughts have over you.
Well, are you feeling any better?
Also Read: 10 Ways To Think Positive Everyday