Many people have negative thoughts throughout the day, thoughts that upset them and lead to bad feelings. Some have automatic negative thoughts ANTS. Some have become Eeyore and are always miserable.
Yet there is a very valuable side to all the negative thoughts that may go through your head in a day. More of that later. Although the idea of this article is to attract people who have negative frightening thoughts that disrupt life and let them know that if they want to stop or dramatically reduce them, emotional freedom therapy is a great way to start and with practice change what happens in our heads.
We all have an inner critic the part of us that criticises us tells us off or is just a total bastard to us. That part of us that if it were a friend, lover or family member who spoke to us that way would be out of our lives very soon. That kind of negativity around us would not be tolerated unless we enjoyed it and were getting some secondary gain from it.
Yet they are just thoughts, and we are responsible for what we think no one else. Just as we are responsible for the tv shows we watch or the music we have on our computers or phones we choose what goes on and what we listen to.
We all know that the music that come out of our computers or phones is not real, we don't have a real singer or band in the little box, inside our tv’s are not shrunk down Eastenders cast members, duplicated in every tv in the land. We understand that these days it is digital information just 0’s and 1”s.
When we watch tv or listen to music we understand it is not real, yet we do something amazing in our minds, we ignore this and for a while believe it is real. This allows us to experience real emotions in us. Real emotions based on a fantasy. Really cool stuff, I wonder how our lives would be different if we used this amazing ability to experience quality emotions and generate positive thoughts? It’s just electrical signals passing down your neurones after all.
Negative Internal dialogue what we tell ourselves plays a big part in how we feel and we tend to believe what we tell ourselves real or just made up. During eft when doing the drills if possible we state out loud what we are saying in our head. In a one to one session this is always done.
It’s part of the reality checker that allows us to begin to change habitual negative thinking. It also allows us to become aware that when we tell ourselves something and choose to accept it we feel an emotion. Cool what we think effects how we feel. Change what we think, we change how we feel. Fast (it only takes the amount of time it takes to think a thought), effective and very simple.
The benefits of negative thinking are many it does give some a certainty about life they think they know what will happen and how the world will treat them. It allows us to stay in whats familiar our strongest driver. It often allows us to gain amazing benefits and allows us to play the victim and give responsibility away allowing the world or those around us to decide how we are.
Nothing wrong with that we all do it in some way it only becomes a problem if it is not what we want. Often our negative thoughts have a positive intent, the inner critic is attempting to tell us something. Just as with our friends who may tell us that we are getting fat or drink to much, we all miss stuff, sometimes it takes another person to point these things out.
When they do we look at it, take a look in the mirror and go “Christ you are right I am getting fat”
If that is the case we then decide to make changes and adjust our lifestyle so that we will loose weight. This is good feedback our inner little voices are doing this for us, to help us.
We often just need to realise this and understand that it’s not really negative, it has a positive intent. The problems come from unnecessary negative thoughts the kind of habitual self defeating and self hurting that some do.
When we love someone we speak with kindness and understanding we are often relaxed around them and very forgiving. One of the most known phrases in emotional freedom therapy is “Love accept and forgive myself”
When learning how to be content with life and understand how to remove negative thinking and thoughts the above statement is a big thing, some clients can’t even say it, it catches in the throat. This reaction will be overcome in time, it is important to re-learn how to love ourselves.
This is something that society and often our parents often trained us to remove, it was beneficial for them at the time and that’s ok. However, now its time to re-learn self love and consideration it plays a big part in removing unrealistic and fantasy negative thinking.
Often we only have a few misunderstanding to let go of in order to learn how to be realistically positive in our lives and let go of negative thinking. We just have to know the difference and get off the automatic emotional dumps.
I am a great believer in practical pessimism a stoic practice that inoculates us against many misfortunes that we will all experience at sometimes in our lives. Although an accent practice it does have modern counterparts.
Tim Ferriss on The Practicality of Pessimism: Stoicism as a Productivity System.
Emergency service personnel, racing drivers, airline pilots, military personnel, governments all train people how to respond when “it hits the fan”. Rehearsal, simulators role play are all involved to train people how to behave and what to do when the worst happens.
None of us would want to fly in an airplane with a pilot who had not practiced emergency landing or what to do if an engine catches fire. In many areas of life professionals practice the worst case so they know what to do. During this rehearsal valuable skills are learnt how to respond is drilled in it also inoculates them against fear, anxiety and worry about the situation.
In some areas you can spend longer in the simulator that in real life, refining your skills and working through different responses. Some would say this is all negative thinking, doom and gloom expecting the worst to happen is. Well negative.
I trust you see it is a very valuable skill to practice in life. Many now use this technique to reduce stress and bad feelings because it works just as well in our lives as it does with airline pilots. If they realise that a skill is lacking during a simulator session, they decide to practice until they have the skills.
Often in our minds we forget that thoughts are not real and emotions are just a chemical dump and don't last for long unless we keep doing what we have just done. Many of our negative thoughts are because we have not paid attention, being awake at night worrying about the accounts instead of getting them done. If we don't have the skills or understanding, well get the skills or pay someone to do them for you. Your little inner critic was attempting to let you know this.
Some negative thoughts are because of unrealistic expectations and fantasy, if this is the case them some growing up will have to be done. Many have not updated beliefs, attitudes or opinions since childhood. We often hold on to outdated stuff often it has become unconscious and habitual.
When we examine them we often learn that they are not what we want or just don't work for us.
We all have old outdated personal, educational, parental, social or religious conditioning loaded into us. May have been beneficial for someone else at the time however, not good for us now. Maybe your negative thinking just needs an update.