You experience yourself thinking, thinking, thinking about the same issue or more than one issue. The mind overheats.
You can’t sleep at night.
There is no peace of mind and certainly no happiness.
These relentless thoughts come across as negative and unhealthy. Reactions and projections torment the mind leaving you unable to distinguish facts from reactions. Reactive thoughts can react on reactive thoughts. Both kinds of merciless thoughts make you feel miserable. You feel you cannot get away from such thoughts.
Such a mindset can drive a person to thoughts of self-hate, self-harm and suicidal thoughts or worse. Such thoughts can increase in the same way towards another – hatred of another, the desire to harm another or thoughts to kill another.
Persistent and intense negative thoughts increase the levels of blame towards oneself and other. Suffering increases. You cannot handle it. Thoughts to harm oneself or another seem easier than enduring the mental suffering.
You cannot put the fire out by pouring petrol on the flames.
Necessity for Support to find a Way through the Nightmare
If you cannot cope with the mental suffering, you need support. Urgently. You need to make a phone call. A loved family member. A friend. A neighbour. A colleague. A clinic. A charity offering counsel.
There is somebody out there who can listen to you and respond in a suitable way. Your decision to reach out shows strength of character not a sign of weakness.
We reach out in many ways in daily life – to people with household skills, to car mechanics, google, for learning, to businesses and much more. It is not a big deal to reach out.
If you have some space in your mind, you can also take steps to change the negative thinking. You do not have to try and force yourself to think positively. That could make things worse.
Here are Five Basic Steps to Dissolve Negative and Harmful Thinking
- Keep reminding yourself. “Thoughts are just thoughts.” These painful thoughts arising are soaked in horrible feeling. Yes, they are still thoughts whether about yourself, another, both or something else. Say repeatedly, like a mantra, “Thoughts are just thoughts.” Or “Life is bigger than these thoughts.” or “This experience is a collision in the mind of memory, negative feelings, thoughts, the future, insecurity and fears” or “This experience arises to pass like all other experiences.” Keep reminding yourself. Say it aloud to give weight to the truth of the statement. You will start to find some space around the issue(s).
- Develop non-negative thoughts. What is another way to think about the issue? Write them down. Read aloud to yourself the alternative ways of thinking. Write out the challenge of the experience. Name areas of your life outside the problematic. Experience sky above and earth below. The word negative often carries the tone of rejection. This is not helpful. Use the word with care.
- Divert your attention to worthwhile activities. That does not mean make yourself busy. It means concentrating on an activity. Walking, tidying up the home, write out the issue, draw on paper the story, exercise and lots and lots of deep breathing.
- In due course, the thoughts will fade away but that does not mean you have resolved the situation. Mentally, you might be too tired to think any more. You might be left feeling unhappy or depressed. Reflect on the consequences in the future of such thinking. Remind yourself to respond now in a skilful way rather than experience the consequences of more suffering at a later stage.
- Change the conditions that trigger such thinking. Is there a core issue? Fear, loss, separation, trauma, hurt, despair, anxiety? Can you spot a condition or two triggering the painful stream of thinking? Keep asking yourself “What can I change to make a difference to my view?”
You might think of other ways as well not listed above. Apply them.
Keep working with one or more of these five areas.
Through regular practice, you will find the empowerment and wisdom to be at ease with your thinking.
At times, it will be two steps forward and one step back.
You might realise a harmonious relationship with your thoughts free from any kind suffering in your thoughts. Your thoughts then have no capacity to generate harm anywhere.
What does full empowerment with your thoughts mean?
The burden of excessive thinking is over.
Your thoughts feel suffused with clarity, calmness and are quietly reflective.
It means you think what you wish to think.
You do not think what you do not wish to think.
That is something worth working towards.
Think about it!
PS. Other blogs address directly emotional issues, such as suffering, fear, trauma, anger, grief, difficult emotions, self-harm and more. There is a SEARCH in top right of page.