Controlling Negative Thinking

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“‘If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

Sometimes thoughts alone can make us feel sad, depressed or anxious . To someone looking in, all may appear well: an individual may be in what others would consider a good place in life; yet, internally there may be turmoil.

Carl Jung noted that in dreams there is no past or future. Everything happens in the “now.” Anxious or worry thoughts are rarely about what is happening in the present moment. Rather, they come from ruminating on the past, or anticipating some negative outcome in the future.

The next time you experience a drop in your mood , take a moment to recall what you were thinking about just prior to the mood change. This way, you can begin to track the kinds of thoughts that bring you down. Next, look around you, and notice everything about the moment you are in. Likely there is nothing in the present that is disturbing to you.

Finally, make a commitment to yourself to bring those negative thoughts under control. Practice “ thought stopping ,” switching your thoughts to something pleasant. There is not much to be gained by ruminating over the past, and if you are imagining future negative outcomes, you can just as easily imagine positive ones.

This process takes practice and discipline. Often we have had a lifetime of thoughts having free reign over our minds. However, if our thoughts are interfering with our enjoyment of life, or making us downright miserable, it is time to do something different. Try it: you may be surprised at what a difference it makes.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.

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