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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Dissolving negative thoughts

"We suffer more in our imagination than in reality."

Our minds love having a mind of their own, like a mind inside our mind. I imagine that is where our thoughts come from. We don't know precisely where our thoughts originate, although science points to our subconscious. We don't necessarily get to choose our thoughts that seem to pop up out of nowhere. However, we do get to choose what thoughts we pay attention to. It's one way to loosely control what we think. The only thoughts that really matter are the ones we pay attention to, right?

So if that's the case, why would we spend any time focusing on all those negative thoughts that only serve to distract and deflate us? I'm referring to those nagging thoughts we would rather ignore, but they seem to heckle us anyway, poking at our self-esteem and attempting to throw us off our game. If we cannot prevent those thoughts from transpiring, can't we choose to ignore them? Of course we can! They can be persistent, though. If we cannot simply ignore the negative thoughts, we can acknowledge them, but we don't have to accept them. We can reject them. They are just thoughts.

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

I still create worst case scenarios in my head by playing the what if game. What if things don't work out? What if I screw up? What if (insert negative thought here)? I have been doing a much better job of catching myself over the past five years. Three years of weekly talk therapy helped immensely. Now I allow myself to recognize the thought and let go of thoughts that do not serve me. I will even reframe thoughts to help boost by confidence and self-esteem. What if things work out? What if I succeed? What if (insert encouraging thought here).

We can actually create better thought patterns by being more mindful of the quality of thoughts bubbling up in our brains. We do not need to attach to the negative thoughts. I'm not referring to the thoughts that keep us out of harm's way. I'm referring to the thoughts that limit our potential and want to keep us from creating new and exciting experiences. Most of the time those negative thoughts are just being overprotective. That's not fair to us. If we are able to recognize and address the negative thoughts from a hopeful and optimistic perspective, we allow ourselves more confidence to move in the direction of our choosing. We cannot prevent the thoughts from occurring, but we can respond with a more positive mindset.

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