In my last blog, I suggested ways to reduce negative thoughts and I promised you an Emergency Kit with tools to keep you in a positive mental state.
Here are some tools from the Emergency Kit to keep you afloat when the negative thoughts come creeping back in.
Imagine a pleasant, beautiful and empty field dotted with flowers and other scenic aspects. Take a minute exploring the open space, open blue sky and clean air.
Then imagine a city built on the field with towers and buildings, streets and vehicles. Now let the city slowly disappear again, leaving the empty, beautiful field.
The relevance of this image is that the field represents that our mind is primarily empty and peaceful, but we have built a city of thoughts and feelings on top of it.
Over time we get used to the city and forget that underneath it, the empty field is actually still there. When you let go of them, the buildings go and the field (peace and quiet) returns.
Reflect on your achievements. The world is full of the small joys of helping others, finishing jobs and goals, going outside and seeing a beautiful scene or sunset or enjoying a delightful meal with friends or family.
In practice by reflecting on the beautiful aspects of life builds confidence as well as increases your enjoyment of future experiences.
Take good care of yourself. When you're not feeling well, it's difficult to muster the strength and energy to keep yourself feeling optimistic. Do what it takes to keep your mind, body and spirit healthy - those negative thoughts and feelings will be a lot less likely to take hold.
Try the following:
Get plenty of sleep. When you're running on a sleep deficit, it's difficult to keep your mind functioning in a positive way. Get 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night.
Eat well. Have a balanced diet full of all the nutrients your brain needs to stay healthy. Make sure you get plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise regularly. Having a good exercise routine will keep stress at bay as well as helping your body stay in good shape. Both of these effects have a big influence on the thoughts and feelings that occupy your mind.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol is a depressant, and drinking it too much can cause your thoughts to spin out of control. The same is true of many types of drugs. If you regularly consume a lot of drugs and alcohol, consider cutting back to improve your mental health.
Seek counselling when necessary. Caring for mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. If you're having trouble controlling your thoughts, don't try to manage everything on your own. Seek out a professional - a counsellor, religious advisor, social worker, or psychiatrist - who can help you get back on a positive path.
Here are some tips to help you along the way
Remember: thoughts and emotions are like the weather. They come and they go. You are the sky. Thoughts and emotions are the rain, cloud, snow, etc.
The more you practice, the easier and quicker it gets.
Knowing the mind makes it easier, a simple exercise is to just relax and watch the mind for some time, including reactions. Imagine that you are a scientist watching a brand new species and it’s your job to find out how it lives.
Close your eyes, look at the thought in your mind and say in your head tell it to "STOP." Call it boring. Maybe even thank it for bringing the thought to your attention – but you’re not interested. Keep doing this until you have control of your mind.
Important to Know
Trying to destroy aspects of the mind, will force the mind to protect what you are trying to destroy - this is the defensive ability of the mind when it is under attack.
So don’t fight your thoughts or try to get rid of them. They’ll always be there but they don’t have to determine who you are.
See a counsellor whenever required. Don't be afraid to seek help.
Thank you for reading an feel free to leave a comment and forward this on to someone who could benefit from its content.