“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place” – Lao Tzu
“The mind is everything, what you think, you become” – Buddha
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” – Wayne Dyer
The message about the power of your mind has been around forever. Today there is a big emphasis on positive thinking and I’m a huge advocate. However, I am also a realist and know that every day is not happy, happy, joy, joy, unicorns and rainbows.
There seems to be a clear message about negative thoughts being bad, that they’re toxic, they lower your vibration and keep you stuck, and so on.
And while this is most certainly true, they also need to be dealt with.
“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle
So what do you do with negative thoughts that constantly swirl around in your head? How do you make them stop? And is trying to jam a positive thought over a negative one the best way to manage the situation?
Most people misunderstand this whole negative thinking debacle because they are taught they should only think positive thoughts. So what happens is the negative thought they are doing their best to avoid, gets suppressed and buried deep within. It stays there festering until it is ready to erupt and explode. Is this healthy? Most certainly not!
Let’s look at negative thoughts a little closer.
1. It’s normal to have negative thoughts.
Research suggests that we think approximately 60,000 thoughts per day, and if you’re a really deep thinker, you can far exceed that number. How incredible is that? That explains why our head is always so busy and sometimes with negative thoughts.
The key is to deal with the negative thoughts as they arise. If they are left unchecked, they become toxic, and will run rampant through your mind.
The goal isn’t to stop or suppress these thoughts, but to observe them and let them pass through. How? By allowing instead of resisting.
Feeling is healing so allow yourself to feel the thoughts that arise, and by doing that you deal with them and dissolve their power.
2. You don’t have to believe your negative thoughts!
You don’t have to believe your thoughts. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee the thoughts that are causing you so much grief are simply a story you have made up which simply isn’t true.
Understanding that nothing has meaning besides the meaning you give it, is a great reminder of how good you might be at spending too much time over-thinking and over-analysing.
If you find your mind on repeat with negative thoughts, take out a piece of paper and write down all the “stories’ your mind is telling you, then cross off all the things that are not FACTS. You might discover something very interesting here – nothing on your list is fact, just BS stories your mind has made up.
Your thoughts and perceptions are filtered through your unique belief system, and it’s this filter that causes negative thoughts. The negativity is in the filter. Your belief system is like a computer and the good news is: new consistent input can override previous programming.
3. You can think more positive thoughts than negative thoughts. How?
By understanding that you are not your thoughts. You are the observer of your thoughts.
You don’t need to validate, criticize, or ignore the thoughts. Just allow them to be there and notice if they have something to teach you. Accept them, pay attention to them in a softer, nonjudgmental way. Recognize that thoughts aren’t real. Just look at them with curiosity, as an observer. Be open to both the good and bad.
And a very important key is to get out of your head and into your heart as often as you can. You do this through meditation. Meditation is the timeless and tested way to truly calm your mind. A calm mind is a peaceful mind and your life will be filled with peace and harmony when truly relaxed.
We all have a monkey mind, which has thoughts going on all the time. The amazing thing is when your thoughts begin to calm down, you feel a new renowned sense of accomplishment, and you have way more peace and positivity in your life than when it is on overdrive with over-thinking and over-analysing.
About Belinda Anderson: Belinda is a Certified Life Coach, and the Author of Living from the Inside Out, A Guide to Healing and Transforming Your Life from Within. Belinda is also a Law of Attraction, Meditation and Pilates Teacher.
Belinda lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia with her husband and two precious sons.