Bad thoughts steal important energy from our minds, reducing serenity and well-being. Very often our mind is pervaded by bad thoughts that occupy a large part of our daily activity, taking away energy and resources that we could use in other things. Learning to control and banish bad thoughts is certainly useful for reducing the stress generated by them and improving the quality of life.
Bad Thoughts First step – acceptance
The most common reaction to bad thoughts is repression. However, many types of research show that the higher the efforts to push a thought away, the more the thought feeds and grows. This happens because our attention is focused on that thought and therefore the resources will be concentrated on it and taken away from something else. The first step is therefore to accept the negative thought and make it your own and not judge it.
Acceptance allows you to perceive these thoughts as something belonging to oneself, which must not be cast out but welcomed, understood, and accepted. This first step allows you to reduce the energy used in the hard struggle to distance yourself and gives the thought a less annoying and more acceptable aspect and therefore a greater chance of dealing with it.
Bad Thoughts Step Two – Observe bad thinking in a non-judgmental way
The second step is the observation of thought from the outside. You have to become spectators of your own thought and observe it in its individual parts. Understanding its nature, possible causes, and factors trying to move away from these in the future. Understanding its evolution, what feeds it, and its validity and influence on our actions. Meditation helps to welcome thought, take a non-judgmental attitude towards it and therefore reduce its strength and increase its understanding.
The basic concept is that it is a thought and as such generated by my mind and therefore controllable and addressable by it. Do not judge your own thought, because it is part of us and produced by ourselves. Therefore, assuming an excessively critical and derogatory behavior could also have effects on one’s self-esteem and sense of effectiveness, undermining serenity and well-being.
Bad Thoughts Third step – get distracted
If trying to get rid of it is not much use, it is useful instead to direct your mind towards something else. The distraction allows you to direct mental energies and attentional focus towards something different. Better if pleasant and very engaging, removing them from negative thinking, which loses strength and vigor. Distraction accompanied by a motor gesture or action is more effective. Because it increases the general level of bodily activation, requiring more resources that are taken away by the continuous brooding on the negative.
Bad Thoughts Fourth step – deal with the thought
Another important step is to deal with negative thinking. It would be optimal to postpone this action to a specific time of day, in which you can safely reflect and invest energy, without other worries or distracting sources. Dedicating a specific moment to this action also allows you to reduce stress during the day. In dealing with it, it is important to understand whether it is founded or not, whether it is useful or not, the consequences on one’s well-being and serenity and to find an alternative, more effective, and functional thought.
In a simple way, it is a reconstruction of thought so that it is useful, perhaps activating action and positive change. Planning one’s action in the face of negative thoughts, reducing their strength and influence in the future allows one not to be caught unprepared and act promptly. It is important to remember that where thoughts become excessively invasive and strong, it is important to ask for help and perhaps rely on specialists to help you in this process of restructuring your thinking and rediscovering serenity and positivity.