Overcoming negative thoughts

This week we are on session six of our meditation course, Be Here Now! We are looking at how to minimise the impact negative thinking can have on how we feel.

But before we can act on our thinking we have to know we are thinking in the first place.

This sounds odd. Surely we know we are thinking. But many of us are so tangled up in our thoughts that we don’t actually notice the process of thinking.

We mostly live inside the story being played out in our heads rather than the real story of you in the real world. And because you feel the effects of those thoughts in your body, and in your actions and speech you assume those particular thoughts are real.

The result is tension and stress, nervousness in the stomach, worry, fear and anger. All of which happens in the mind and experienced in the body. They don’t exist outside- just in you. Meditation practice is all about a shift of perspective. Regular practice enables us to move to a mental space where we can watch thoughts. Its then that you notice how your thoughts work, what they do and where they go.

And more importantly how they make you feel. It’s often a surprise too, that most of your thoughts are not that helpful. Meditation practice builds the skill of being able to watch your thoughts. Its called non-attachment and it is regular practice that builds a deeper awareness of who you really are and what you are really doing. It can be liberating to then know you are not your thoughts or indeed your sensations and feelings after all, as most of the time they are obstacles to you feeling yourself. Yoga science tells us that there are five types of thought patterns that get in the way.

They are:

  • Desire
  • Anger
  • Restlessness
  • Doubt
  • Dullness

When, through habit we identify with, or get entangled with these patterns they form a self-created enclosing ‘bubble’, cloud or veil interfering or obscuring how interact with the world, others and ourselves.

By learning to watch each of those patterns work and flow from a distinct space of being, their power and impact diminishes. So imagine being free from the effects of those thought patterns. Sure you can still be angry, you can still doubt, but from a place of stability, calm, clarity and deep awareness.

So breathe in – breathe out, and watch what’s going on in your head. For a moment you may just notice that inner feeling of fear and tension just melt away…

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