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The art of dealing with negative thoughts


I found myself lately in a very strange place, where I couldn’t seem to find any positivity. I started having negative thoughts, and on most of my days, even when I was out with my friends, I was thinking of my worries, my fears and my future. I wasn’t present in the moment. I was caught in something else.  

I started to think “what is happening with me?” Why am I thinking only these bizarre, negative things about my life? How do I stop it? 

I believe we all have been there. Caught in a moment where it doesn’t seem we move on, nor that we go back. But we stand still, life drifting in front of us and we cannot do anything about it. It all seems surreal. But it’s true. We go out, and we try to “not think”, we get busy with different kinds of activities and sports and gym and good eating. But, most often, when we find ourselves alone, in an empty moment, we tend to think about everything at the same time. Worries flood our brains. Fear stumbles us. All these negative thoughts take over. And then, the cycle begins again. We find ourselves still busy trying not “to think” until the next empty, alone moment. And then again. 

So how do we stop it? How do we take control of our thoughts? How do we stop to fear the empty moments? 

I asked myself this question several months now. And I couldn’t seem to find a good enough answer. I read articles saying how we should be aware of all these thoughts we are having, how we should read books on that and practice yoga and re-centre ourselves. All these complicated practices that I didn’t even fully understand. 

In the quest for positivity and enjoyable empty moments, I found my answer. And it was quite obvious. 

I started accepting my thoughts. And that is pretty hard to do. Whenever we feel like we have a bad thought, we tend to brush it off and then do something else to get busy. And not think. But I started embracing my empty moment and accepting it. I started saying out loud that “it is just a negative thought”. And I said it every time it happened. I tricked myself into not believing it. Into thinking it is just a thought, and I am the decision-maker – does this thought go or it stays? I decided to have all the bad thoughts go. 

It’s not as simple as I am describing it. I had the tendency, and still have, to brush them off and watch tv. But, for this to work, we have to be perseverant. We have to believe that our thoughts are not always pleasant and happy, and it’s normal. What it’s not normal is making them a home in our brain and use them against us. Use them as weapons to not reach our goals and ambitions. 

Start by accepting them. Don’t run, don’t brush them off. After you are getting comfortable in accepting them, the next step begins. And that is understanding them. Why am I thinking the way I am? This is not easy, because sometimes we don’t know ourselves. There are certain times when we have a feeling that we are thinking like this because we are worried, we are scared of what will happen next. We need to reason with ourselves. “ I am thinking about this though because I am scared of my meeting next week. And it is normal to be scared. I worked too hard, however, to think that I will fail. I will not fail. It’s easy to think the bad thing first in case of disappointment. But I will succeed. I know I will succeed”. 

Reasoning takes us a long way. If we do this often, we might find ourselves at the moment where whatever bad thought we have, we will know that it is just temporary, based on our worries. It is normal. It is not our future. Nor our present. 

Believe in yourself. Have faith in your path. Work hard and make it happen. You are your own best friend. Take care of yourself as you would do with someone else. Only like this, peace will come.

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