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Wednesday 15 September 2010

Practice ignoring your negative thoughts

It has been estimated that the average human being has around 60,000 thoughts per day. That's a lot of thoughts. Some of these thoughts are going to be positive and productive. Unfortunately, however, many of them are also going to be negative—angry, fearful, pessimistic, worrisome. Indeed, the important question isn't whether or not you're going to have negative thoughts — you are—it's what you choose to do with the ones that you have. In a practical sense, you really have only two options when it comes to dealing with negative thoughts. You can analyze your thoughts —ponder, think through, study, think some more OR you can learn to ignore them—dismiss, pay less attention to, not take so seriously. This later option, learning to take your negative thoughts less seriously, is infinitely more effective in terms of learning to be more peaceful. If you have a thought from your past, "I'm upset because he scolded me for no fault of mine" you can get into it, as many do, which will create inner turmoil for you. You can give the thought significance in your mind, and you'll convince yourself that you should indeed be unhappy. Or, you can recognize that your mind is about to create a mental snowball, and choose to dismiss the thought. The same mental dynamic applies to thoughts of this morning, even five minutes ago. An argument that happened while you were walking out the door is no longer an actual argument; it's a thought in your mind. This dynamic also applies to future-oriented thoughts. You'll find, in all cases that if you ignore or dismiss a negative thought that fill your mind, you become more peaceful.

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