We cannot stop thinking

Why do we dream?   Apparently we cannot stop thinking. Something goes through our mind all the time. A stupid joke, a song we heard on the bus, the color of your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/bus driver/ underwear. We’re always thinking about something even if we like it or not. What about the moments the negative creepy thoughts crawl their way in?

   There are some ways to kick them out for the moment (not forever, just for the moment). When our mind gets invaded by negative thoughts, we have to replace them somehow. Ideally, we would replace them with some strong positive thoughts, but since that involves a deeper and more complex technique, we still need to do something right now.

  • The first method is concentrating on a certain object. When we notice we’re having some negative thoughts, we should concentrate on a certain object, like the most colorful cup we have. If we start describing to ourselves that cup in the most detailed way, with every color that covers each part of that cup and the shape of the cup and how we sip some hot coffee and burn our tongue because we need that f*ckin’ coffee, we will totally replace those negative thoughts.
  • The second method is focusing on surroundings (the fancy name is sensory awareness exercises). If we’re concentrating on what we hear, see, touch, taste or smell, we could ignore those negative thoughts. Questions like Do I smell some coffee? or WTF are those two dogs doin’? can help.
  • A third method for ignoring the negative thoughts is by doing some mental exercises, like asking yourself How many people do I know whose name begin with letter D? and start thinking about that. Also, remembering some positive situations in the smallest details can help in this case.

   These methods are not useful to fix the problems, but they help in making those problems worse. They are also useful to avoid thoughts we don’t want to have.

   What methods do you use to keep yourself from felling in the “dark side”?

36 thoughts on “We cannot stop thinking

    1. Try them and let me know if they work, but I believe that you need a long term strategy to eliminate those thoughts. These strategies are useful to postpone the manifestations of those negative thoughts. What kind of thoughts do you have?

      1. These strategies remind me of mindfulness and acceptance and committment therapy, which can also help with megative thoughts

      2. I understand… Make a list with your positive experiences and with your strengths and read it every time you sense that the negative thoughts creep in. It might help!

  1. Everyone has negative thoughts, true, but sometimes these can be harnessed for good. They can spur right action. And when all else fails, meditation can train you to stop thinking. That’s the entire point, to master yourself and to achieve nothingness.

    1. I totally agree, but that’s more of a long term strategy which needs to be put in place. As I said in the post, these are only to make those thoughts give yourself a break at the moment.

      1. As they say, the longest journey begins with a single step. That step is achieved with the mindset of knowing where you want to go. Sometimes that’s enough. Sometimes that’s all we have.

      1. Actually, I think it helps me embrace them. Cry it out sometimes. For them to go away, I probably listen to Enya or my Hope Dies Here playlist.

  2. After I learned to meditate (which I haven’t done in a long time) I learned how to stop all the chatter in my head. Before that I had to force myself to focus. My mind loved counting things and loved putting stuff in order. I remember trying to fall asleep and I would do this weird combination of counting and organizing and if I missed a step I had to start all over. In high school it started with the steps needed to turn off the computer at the end of the school day. I forget stuff easily, but found if I counted how many steps it took then I could figure out what I’m missing. Counting the steps led to me doing the steps in my head over and over again and that way of thinking was madness. The only way I stopped it, which I did stop years before meditating, was to force myself to focus. It felt good and miserable to think those things, but if I starved myself of that though long enough then I didn’t have to think it anymore. I don’t if that makes sense but it’s what I did.

    1. Focusing on something else is the main idea from my post as well. Meditating is better, but until we all learn how to do that, we can use whatever methods we have to “bypass” the negative thoughts.

    2. Meditation is a really great practice. I’ve definitely found it helpful to train myself to focus my mind more. I’d recommend it to anyone!

    3. That’s how my OCD is, in regards to counting and organizing. It never shuts up shouting at me. I have learned how to ignore some of the nose but unfortunately most of it is still a part of my daily life.

      I do the mindfulness type exercises and am trying to learn meditation but I’m a long way from being able to be blank. Lol I’ll keep trying!

      1. I wish I would have learned about meditating back when my mind was always over thinking because it would have been better than struggled to think differently. I didn’t want to meditate at all but I was forced to. When I started my nose would itch or it felt like a bug was on my arm or neck and that is stuff the mind does to take you out of the moment. I had to go in a dark closet, turn on chakra music and forced myself to just let my mind drift into the darkness I saw when I closed my eyes. It took a week or two of doing it daily before I could just slip into it. If you stick with it you will get there too and life gets so much easier when you can calm the mind.

      2. That sounds like me! I don’t sit still very well. I might have to try sitting in a closet! I wouldn’t have thought of that! Thanks so much. 😀

  3. The best advice I’d ever heard was to try to visualise and treat negative thoughts like floating clouds, to allow yourself to mentally detach from them and their meaning and simply watch them float by.

    By acknowledging them as only passing thoughts, you allow yourself to be free of judgement and move on to the next thought which we can try to form as a positive.

    1. That’s very true! In my opinion, the first step is to realize that just because those thoughts exist, it doesn’t mean that they are “real”.

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