How To Kick Negative Thoughts To The Kerb!
As human beings we are both gifted with and burdened by the ability of our mind and its thought process. It is a tool that has changed how the world interacts through design and innovation. Its a tool that can bring us towards contentment with positivity, goal setting and will. Its a tool that pushes us as humans to achieve more and go futher but it can also cultivate within us negativity which can destroy anything from relationships to careers.
Every negative thought that pops up into our heads, whether it’s jealousy, rage, self doubt , regret or fear of what’s to come, passes through a filter, where we either take it on board and dwell in it, or acknowledge it and let it go without allowing it to weigh us down. When we’re in a bad state of mind we take these thoughts and hold them close, stewing in them and allowing them to consume us until we either break down, attack the ones we love emotionally or physically, or vent aggressively. What most of us dont understand is that all of this can be controlled. In that moment of hurt it will feel like there is nothing we can do, like we cant control our minds when they run rampant with a stampede of anger and hurt, but we are the catalyst for change, we decide what we feel (barring tragedy), and we decide how those feelings will affect our quality of life. We just have to understand how we can create change, and that ‘how’ is awareness of thought, through meditation.
Meditation? Really? Is It For Me?
The common misconception surrounding meditation is that it’s an activity or practise reserved for the spiritually enlightened and religious. This simply isn’t true. Meditation is a practise for anyone and everyone and can be implemented in as little as 10 minutes per day. From the most troubled of souls reaching out for that helping hand, to billionaires residing high atop city skylines searching for calm and poise in making tough decisions. So if you’re hurting emotionally, you’re often aggressive, or having trouble making the right decisions then I suggest you give it a chance. Like anything that provides substantial benefits, it takes persistence to implement as a daily practise meaning it’s crucial we approach it with patience and an open mind, because in this high paced world, being still for as little as 10 minutes is going to be a challenge in itself for anyone who decides to trial it.
How Can It Help Me Though?
Meditation is a simple yet effective method that allows us to progressively control our thoughts, no matter how bad. Controlling our thoughts will determine our actions and our reactions to different situations we find ourselves in. This means we slowly gain the ability to question what we think say or do. Having the ability to take that step back and analyse what we’re thinking allows us to make decisions and act or react through rationale rather than retaliation, impatience, or pain. How many times have we all yelled at the car infront of us for driving too slow? How many times have we been aggressive to the people we love either verbally or physically, and regretted it? Or played an argument (that hasn’t actually happened) out in our head?
Having the ability to step back in all these situations allows us to adjust to the heat of the moment and realise that we ourselves make these situations as aggressive or calm as we want them to be. We make the decision whether we’re angry, doubtful, upset or forgiving. Yes, we may stumble and act out in a manner we regret sometimes, but through effort over time we slowly drain the bad blood and introduce new qualities to our character. Qualities that the world is in dire need of.
How Does It Help Control Our Thoughts Then?
Meditation is the act of focusing your attention on one thing for a set period of time, without your attention wandering to other thoughts or feelings. It cultivates our ability to drag our mind back from one train of thought to another. For example if we are practising the breathing method, we focus solely on the air flowing in and out of our diaphragm at our normal breathing pace, and if we find our minds have wandered to something as simple as what we want to eat next, we gently return it to the process of the air flowing in and out of us. This may seem mundane but as we become more adept at keeping focus and pulling ourselves away from unintended trains of thought, it starts to translate to real life situations and we find we become better at pulling ourselves away from negative emotions.
Im Interested, How Do I start?
Like most practises if you don’t implement them properly you wont see the full benefits, so having a guide or a teacher to help you through your first couple of weeks is a must. Meditation classes will become a little costly if you intend on attending them daily, so for anyone with a smartphone I would highly recommend downloading the app Headspace. It is a meditation app designed to give beginners the best introduction possible, by walking you through the process while you’re doing it. During the sessions a calming voice will tell you what youre doing and how it will effect you, while also giving cues on sitting position, breathing depth and rhythm. The most useful part of the app is the way it gently reminds you throughout the session to bring your mind back if it has wandered, which often happens without you realising. Upon download you’ll receive 10x free 10 minute sessions so you have ample time to trial it and see if it works for you.
If you have any other questions or just want to discuss it further then feel free to shoot an email through to email@example.com and i’ll do my best to reply as soon as possible.
Be positive. Be kind. Smile.