How often have you felt your subconscious mind discouraging you from doing something? Creating a roadblock in your path.
When you are about to do something important – something that can change the course of your life – and you are already feeling apprehensive and anxious about taking the step forward, your subconscious mind would throw the spanner in the works. Seems too familiar?
The subconscious mind always seems overly eager to take the negative approach. Such as thinking of ways things can go wrong, the negative consequences of any action.
When it is functioning well, this is intended as a protective mechanism to prevent you from self-destruction. However, more often than not this is not the case.
Negativity is like a weed that takes over the garden if allowed to grow unrestrained. It can take over your mind unless you step in and take the right actions.
This article lists some strategies to weed out negative thoughts from the subconscious mind.
Subconscious mind and negativity
Before we look at ways to get rid of negative thoughts, we need to get to the root of the problem. Why negative thoughts come in mind? Is it possible to stop negative thoughts from entering your mind?
There are no two opinions that bad thoughts are harmful and need to be removed. The question is why do we even have them in the first place?
To tackle negative thinking, we need to understand it.
Depression and negative thinking are like the chicken or the egg dilemma – which came first. Ultimately, they form a vicious cycle you would find difficult to get out of.
Various forms of cognitive distortions are the real culprit here. They trick us into believing untruths and falsehoods, thus cementing negative thoughts and feelings in our minds.
Some of the common reasons for negative thinking are:
- Catastrophizing – believing disaster is unavoidable.
- Overgeneralization – once it happened, so it will again.
- Jumping to conclusions – assumptions based on limited facts.
- Blame game – it is someone else’s fault or only ours.
- Emotional reasoning – “I feel it, hence it is so”.
- Delusion of change – try to change others for your happiness.
- Misplaced fairness – you are the only one to follow the rules of fairness.
- Spotlight on self – everything is all about you
- Either/or thinking – if you are not succeeding, you are a loser, no in-between.
- Filtering – focusing on inconsequential negative aspects and blowing them out of proportion.
Once you identify, understand, and accept the source of negative thinking, you may find ways to avoid them. Or to control negative thoughts or as a last resort, to get bad thoughts out of your head.
How to overcome negative thoughts?
If only we can recognize negative thoughts as harmful ones that should be ignored and not taken seriously. Unfortunately, it seldom happens like that. Negative thoughts come disguised as real problems, sneaking into our minds unawares and creating disruptions and destructions all around.
Even the most vigilant amongst us will find some negative thoughts finding their ways into our minds. We would be able to limit their destructive potential if we are aware of their existence and learn ways to neutralize them.
Here are some subconscious mind exercises to get rid of bad thoughts and clean your subconscious mind.
1. Chop them off or uproot them
As said earlier, a negative mindset can be best compared to weeds in the garden. Just the way we deal with weeds, you may handle the unwanted thoughts. As caretakers of our minds, we must take good care of it and be vigilant of external threats.
This technique requires quick thinking and instant action. As soon as you identify the presence of bad thoughts, you stop them completely. No examination, no analysis, no argument, no effort to overcome it – just end it. Like chopping off the weed in one blow or uprooting it completely.
Your mind may want to revisit these destructive thoughts and let them in. But be firm and tell yourself, “a no is a no”. It may help you cope with the situation if you bring in an alternative positive thought in its place.
2. Label them as a “Negative Thought”
The moment a negative thought pops up in your mind, recognize it and label it as a “negative thought”. Tell yourself that the thought you just had was a negative thought and just a negative thought. Every time the thought tries to make a comeback, remind yourself that it is destructive and should be disregarded and not entertained.
The power wielded by negative thoughts or the hold they enjoy over you is something given to them when you react to them. When you feel sad, depressed, angry, worried, or get worked up, you are reacting to the bad thought. Reprogram your subconscious mind to ignore them and they will cease to have any power over you.
3. Dress them up to look farcical
Negative thoughts have a way of capturing your attention and holding it. At times you may find it difficult to ignore them, distract yourself, or shake them off. It is hard to erase something from your mind. When these thoughts refuse to leave you alone, this trick may work for you.
When an unwanted thought comes up telling you that you are not going to succeed in whatever you are doing, you may work on it to exaggerate its negativity. To the point of making it look ridiculous and laughable. Continue developing this theme until your mind has had enough of the thought and can finally let it go.
4. Flip them over
Every time you encounter a negative thought, without wasting time, think of the polar opposite of it. “I can’t do it” becomes “I can do it”. “I won’t succeed” becomes “I will succeed”. This is much easier to do than ignoring or removing the thought as you still have something to occupy your mind.
The mind needs something to think about. It is hard for it to remain empty. Another strange fact about the mind is that it can entertain only one thought at a time. Instead of pushing away the negative thoughts, if you learn to replace them with positive ones, the mind will accept them without much resistance.
Manifesting your desires with the law of attraction is based on this approach. You need to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want, even if what you get out of it is the same. You manifest whatever your mind is focusing on, positive or negative.
5. Frame affirmation by reversing them
This is a continuation of the previous technique. Instead of merely thinking the opposite, write them down as affirmations. The reverse of negative thoughts becomes positive thoughts. Affirmation is like a mantra to remove bad thoughts from the mind.
If your thinking goes like “I am never going to buy my own house”, frame affirmation as “I am enjoying living in my beautiful home”. Rewrite the thought “I am never going to find love” to an affirmation “I am happy and content in my relationship”.
While drafting affirmations, you need to follow its rules. It should be in the present tense. I should be personal, preferably in the “I am” format, and include words of emotions.
- Best 72 Positive Affirmation to Start the Day
- 30 Gratitude Affirmations that help you get rid of bad thoughts
The most destructive aspect of negative thoughts is that they are hard to recognize. Staying alert and taking timely action can neutralize them before they sow the seeds of unhappiness, anger, and depression in our minds.
Ways to deal with negative thoughts may not be the same for everyone. What works for some may not work for others. All the methods described above are effective. You may choose what works for you best.
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