Thought stopping: such a paradox

You would wonder why the very thing we spend our life learning to do, we have to stop doing for the sake of our wellbeing?  It isn’t so much that we need to stop thinking all the time.  We just need to slow down the thoughts and sometimes actually stop the thoughts.  Let me explain.

Thoughts and images in your mind creates what we call a visualization.  Athletes use visualization to perfect their skills.  There are times when you have to give explicit orders to your mind to STOP certain thoughts.  Through personal experience and with clients, I have found this to be especially helpful when we persistently allow thoughts and images of a negative nature to continually run through our mind.  The negative thoughts make us feel yucky.

When you are playing the movies in your mind, you may be reviewing some past experience you did not like and you continue to replay it.  Your mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined.  For example when imagining something that gives you bad feelings, you will notice your breathing change to more fast and shallow, your heart will beat harder and faster, your pace will quicken.  This tells you that the mind has prompted the fight or flight mechanism to start.

Sometimes you rehearse something in the future in which you image a negative outcome.    You may be feeling fear, anger, hurt, resentment, or other negative feelings  It is like you are practicing what you don’t want to happen.  The more you play it, the more angry and frustrated you get.  Your stress level goes up.  When you meet that person again, rather than being in a calm place to respond with wisdom and clarity, you are in a nasty place and react with emotion.  Nothing gets solved.

When such a movie gets played, notice it, then stop it and find something particularly pleasant to focus upon instead. Do I think this is easy.  No it isn’t.  Even though I know this well, there have been times when I have needed some outside help to guide me.

Rehearsing positive things in the future to change our reaction to a calm response works well. It helps you change your thought patterns and the long-term effect is a change in your feelings and in your behaviour.

Try it with little things first.  This gives you the growing ability to use it when you need it the most.  Wishing you wellness with all that comes your way.

Till next time


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