Negative Thoughts: How to Deal With Them
Negative thoughts can be a major nuisance. In many people’s experience, they keep crashing the party and spoiling all the fun.
Here are some tools for dealing with persistent negative thoughts that have proven helpful for many of my clients. I hope they work for you too! (Thanks to my partner Kimberly Crowe, the writings of shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman, and other friends who gave me some of these ideas.)
Focus Your Attention in Your Calm Center
Paying attention to a negative thought gives it power. I strongly suggest that when one tries to get your attention, your first order of business is to place your attention in your calm center. My core invocation, described in my “Invocations for Healing and Awakening” blog post, has helped many people do this.
I believe it’s a good idea to maintain this calm center, which in spiritual language could be called I Am awareness, as much as possible. Why? This awareness is characterized by perfect peace. When you hold this consciousness, nothing can bother you!
Energy follows attention. Whatever you pay attention to receives energy from you. Paying attention to and engaging with negative thoughts only makes them stronger.
What if negative thoughts persist even as you rest in your calm center? You can treat them like a background conversation at a restaurant that you’re choosing to ignore. If they can no longer feed on your energy, negative thoughts will eventually run out of gas and fade away.
On the high side, you can use negative thoughts to help you focus your inner healing work. You can think of negative thoughts as tiny entities that feed on negative emotions. From their perspective, the more they can stir up fear, anger, anxiety and other negative feelings in you, the more they can settle in and enjoy a delicious gourmet meal.
They cannot stir up these negative emotions in areas where you are psychologically whole and healthy. Therefore you can choose to pay attention to the areas in which they expose a vulnerability, and make these the focus of your ongoing inner healing work. As you become healed and whole in each area they expose, that area will no longer be an access point for them.
The Healing Invocation
There are, of course, many ways to work with such psychological wounds. One technique I teach is the healing invocation.
When a challenging thought or emotion arises, say to your inner divine, “Maximum clearing that serves highest good, please.” Then rest passively in breath awareness and allow your divine power to clear away what no longer serves you.
If the divine chooses not to clear something away, even after repeated healing invocations, it may be because you still have something important to learn from it. In that case, you may find this next approach helpful.
Querying Your Inner Wisdom
Center in your I Am presence the best you can. Then ask your inner wisdom questions such as:
- What healing opportunity does the presence of these negative thoughts make available to me?
- What self-awareness can I gain from the presence of these negative thoughts?
- What actions can I take so that negative thoughts no longer bother me?
After you ask your inner wisdom these questions, don’t try to figure out the answers yourself. Rest in passive breath awareness and wait for the answer to arise spontaneously.
If you have trouble distinguishing between what the negative thoughts and your inner wisdom are saying, these guidelines may be helpful:
- Your inner wisdom will only speak from love.
- Hearing the voice of your inner wisdom will fill you with peace and calmness.
- Do not trust any inner voice whose words consistently trigger negative thoughts or emotions.
In my opinion, all human challenges are opportunities for increased healing, awareness, insight and empowerment. The more intense the crisis, the greater the opportunity for breakthrough. The faster you learn the lesson the benevolent universe is trying to teach you, the less challenge you will be required to experience!
Routinely doing things that support your overall health and vitality will also help you. Here are some suggestions:
- Eat healthy, vital foods in moderate quantities.
- Get out in nature.
- Take Epsom salt or sea salt baths.
- Sit in the rays of the sun a few minutes each day.
- Hang out with positive, uplifting people.
- Read things that inspire you.
- Listen to music that makes you feel great.
Have some fun!
Try to spend time every day doing something that fills you with joy, excitement and enthusiasm. Doing a lot of challenging inner work, even when it’s helpful and productive, can be tiring. Spending time on what naturally lights you up is an easy and enjoyable way to fill yourself with positive energy.
I hope that you find these thoughts helpful. I wish you infinite blessings on your journey of healing, insight and awakening!
Category: Practical Spirituality