Unwanted thoughts

Unwanted thoughts can present themselves unexpectedly and in a repetitive manner, causing you to obsess about them. They may include reminders of a painful upsetting memory, the worry of doing something bad, something bad happening in the future, or a problem that seems unsolvable. You may be reluctant to confide in someone for fear of being judged negatively or even fear of getting into trouble depending on the nature of the thoughts. This can make things worse as keeping things in will only accentuate them.

The average human has over 6000 thoughts a day! But as our brains are designed to prioritise survival and keep us safe and not to make us happy, it is no surprise that sometimes our thoughts can be quite negative. There is nothing worse than unwanted thoughts or worries going around and around in your head. This negative way of thinking will eventually affect the way you feel and the way you act. Research has proven that it can even lead to depression and anxiety.

An effective way of overcoming these thoughts is locating the origin which caused the issue and creating an understanding of what is triggering them now. Instead of letting these thoughts wander around freely, write them down on paper. Go through them one at a time, systematically finding solutions. If the thoughts come back, pick up the paper again. You have already analysed the thoughts, what is the point of doing it again? Understand that the thoughts are just thoughts and they are in no way indicative of something you will do or say and certainly not a prediction of something that may or may not happen.

Changing the way you think may seem like an impossible task but actually isn’t that difficult with practice and by putting a few techniques into practice. You might like to take a look at the science behind this here: Neuroplasticity.

The next step is to adopt things you can do to make your thoughts happier. Putting in place positive mood builders such as exercise, sleep and diet will automatically promote a good, positive mental attitude. Practising gratitude and reviewing your friends and your environment is also essential. Goal-setting is another great tool.

A lot of people say “I’m just a negative thinker” or “I always think of the worst possible outcome”, but these are actually just excuses. With a bit of effort, anyone can improve their way of thinking and lessen unwanted thoughts. Another great trick you might like to try is, adopt is saying ‘but luckily’. This short statement turns any negative sentence into a positive one:

“I am worried about becoming unwell, but luckily I am healthy and I understand that a thought doesn’t represent reality”.

“I have to go to work, but luckily I am earning money to pay the bills”.

“I have a pile of washing to do, but luckily I have nice clothes to wear”.

“I always have negative thoughts, but luckily I can do something about it”.

Further Reading: How to be happy

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