Sometimes in life, no matter how hard you try to concentrate on your work, your mind wanders off to a completely unrelated topic. It seems like your failures have firmly got a hold on you and didn’t let you think anything positive. During those times, you feel like your unhelpful or pessimistic thoughts have gone out of your control.
Imagine going out on your first date, but then you start to feel uncomfortable or nervous about the situation you’re about to face. Then when you arrive to meet your date, you start feeling anxious and think about what can go wrong during the date.
This is how our thoughts affect our feelings and which in turn, affects our behaviour. This happens every day, usually without us even noticing.
This was an example of unhelpful thoughts or Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs). You don’t want your unhelpful thoughts to distract you from any critical work or destruct your mindset.
Your mind is strong, but it’s up to you to handle it. You’re in charge of it! If you can control your emotions, you won’t use your mind to your advantage.
Implement these strategies to manage your unhelpful thoughts:
- Distance yourself from your thoughts
It’s important to note that you don’t have to deal with your thoughts. Your thoughts are just something you experience. You’re not your thoughts. If there is something in your life that doesn’t serve a reason, ignore it. What’s the point of dwelling on it?
- Understand that it is the nature of your brain to generate random thoughts
The thoughts that you encounter say very little about you. It’s the nature of your brain to make you think. It will always give you something to think about.
Occasionally, these thoughts are helpful. But mostly, they’re trivial. So, move on from such unhelpful thoughts.
- Meditation is a valuable method for understanding the essence of the mind.
Meditation is a perfect way to relax and calm your mind. It may also have positive psychological and physical effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation is an ideal stress reducer that will calm you down and help you relax.
Calm meditation will help you sleep better, focus more on work and be relaxed all day. If you’ve never meditated before, this can be a perfect way to learn how your mind functions and how to cope with wild, unhelpful thoughts.
- Start thinking logically
Flawed reasoning leads to poor decision-making. When your unhelpful thoughts lead you astray, make fair use of your rational mind. Tell yourself what a sensible person is going to do in this situation. What is a reasonable, informed decision for your circumstances?
The trick is to concentrate your attention on what you want to do and stop getting too entangled in your random thoughts. Just let them pass.
Imagine how powerful you would be if you could suppress or substitute your negative or unhelpful thoughts instead of allowing them to influence your emotions and behaviour.
You could do more and make your life more enjoyable. By following these points you’ll soon begin to realise how many futile or unhelpful thoughts you have throughout the day. Remember, your thoughts are just a part of your experiences, they are not you.