Dealing with Negative Thoughts

A lot of times, more often than we realize, we end of nurturing negative thoughts. Thoughts of anger, depression, dismay, self-pity… Thoughts like:

– How dare she/he do this to me
– I have no one to talk to … ahhhh
– I am such a loser
– Why did I not do it at that time .. how regretful
– They are always mean to me … despair
– There’s no way for me to get out of it…all is lost…helpless, worthless

If not nipped in the bud, these, such, thoughts balloon. They mushroom up, at tremendous speeds, gaining momentum and mass, and completely clouding your brain, your mind, your entire being. You get completely clouded by this menacing darkness and then all you can think, and feel, is the intense, associated feeling–anger, hatred, self-pity, regret, despair, depression, envy even–it clenches your heart, and overpowers your brain.

Nip it in the bud.

You will have to put in effort. Make a conscious effort; try and control your mind, your thoughts, forcefully. Cos’ they are strong, these neagtive thoughts, like a true enemy, they will fight back with all their strength. They are very strong. So, be careful.

First up, as always, sit up straight and breath in. A nice, deep, refreshing breath in, filling up your lungs with the blue freshness of the seas and the mountains. Ideally, if done correctly, just this should bring a (relaxed) smile to your face. 🙂 Smile on…half the battle won.

Smiles are great weapons to kill all sorts of negative thoughts. 🙂

Think of the present. Where you are right now.

For hopelessness and despair:
Analyze how truly hopeless and despairing your current situation is? Know, tell yourself, that you have no control over what’s happened. Let it go. Let it all go. Pack it up nice and neat into a bundle, close your eyes, and in your mind’s eyes see yourself putting that big bundle of your troubles into a river and watch it float away. If you find this exercise funny, think of it as a visualization exercise for your brain; you have nothing to lose anyways; except that huge “baggage”. 🙂

Try and think ahead, not thinking or looking into the past. Make plans. If nothing comes to mind, think of what makes you happy. If it’s something reasonable, do it. Take a vacation. Or go to a nice, peaceful (the one that makes you happy) place in your city or town. Go someplace nice and then refresh your mind. A lot of times, we keep sticking to old patterns–behavior, people, places–just cos we are too lazy to just get up and go, and do something different. So just, get up and go. Something as simple as a change of scenary might help. And when you feel a bit refreshed, then think of what is it that you truly want; or what will make you feel better about yourself, about your life. Is there a way to achieve it? If there isn’t, then maybe you need to stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about it. Move on, to new thoughts, new people, new environments, new job. Move on…

Just the other day I was reading this article about someone who’d committed suicide. And I had this completely frivolous thought; why didn’t he just move to a nice place like Goa or some such. I know, the thought might seem “childish”, but maybe it’s better than ending your life. I mean, you are leaving everything, your family, your life, your friends, everything behind anyways. If not Goa, then go to the mountains and meditate. If you are not able to do any good for yourself, or others in your life, give this life up and do something for this world, this humanity. It’ll be better than killing yourself. Go live in a gurudwara and do sewa everyday.

For anger:
What, or who, are you angry at? At a person, at a situation, at yourself? Why are you angry. A lot of times, anger erupts from within due to ones own makeup inside. If there is discord, anger, something festering within already, it will erupt as anger at various people, in various circumstances. So look within and see what is the real cause of this anger. Esp when one is angry at a child, most times it is because one is already despaired at and embittered by one’s own life or circumstances and it comes out as anger at the poor child. It’s important to reach the real root of that anger and then erode it from there, from the root. A lot of times it could also be genetical; in the sense one grew up around people who were always needlessly angry, and it becomes part of one’s nature too, without one realizing it. A lot of such behavioral “genes” are passed on like that; by just being around and rubbing it in, slowly and gradually over the years.

There are a lot of exercises you can practice to erode anger from the root. Breathing exercises help a lot. Google and try those. Stay around happy people. 🙂

For feelings of self-pity:
Look at me. I haven’t really achieved anything in life. Today, my biggest desire is to move back into my parent’s place and live happily ever after with my mommy (and daddy). 🙂 Yet, most times, I am reasonably happy, and content. What I am trying to say is, that it does not take a lot to be, just happy. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t take anything at all. Happiness that comes with a lot money, property, big job (more money) is mostly temporary, skin-deep so-to-say. Though I really wouldn’t mind if I do get a lot of money; but it’ll just make my life, very easy. Happiness is there already, within. And a lot of it comes from self-worth. Appreciating oneself. I appreciate myself. You need to too, appreciate yourself.

What is it that you don’t like about yourself? The way you look? That’s the easiest. One can always change the way one looks. Just don’t over-do it. Your job? If you are not happy, give it up. If you can’t, then keep at it and in the meantime look for other jobs, or take up a part-time course and update/enhance your skill-set and then look for a different job. Save for a year or so, and then take a break, or a vacation. There are many things you can do; as long as you feel positive and hopeful. Just feel good about yourself, just as you are. Spread smiles, and they will come back to you ten-fold.

For feelings of regret:
This is the easiest. When you were in that moment, you did not take that decision, or took that decision. That is it. It made sense then, let it make sense now, and stick to it. Appreciate the decisions you make. A lot of times it helps to think that you did what you did because that was how it was meant to happen. And whatever’s meant to happen, it happens with the best of your life in mind. And like I mentioned earlier, what’s gone, that’s gone. Let it go. Look forward now. Look at what’s good now. What good can you generate now.

Breath and smile. Hope and happiness bring along a lot of great opportunities. 🙂