You know what it’s like to get a song stuck in your head. It’s annoying, but eventually it fades away and you forget that it was there in the first place. If only it were that easy to get rid of repetitive negative thinking! While it might not be as easy as letting that song fade away, it is possible to put an end to the cycle of repetitive negative thinking, and hypnosis can help.
It has been estimated that we have anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day, and many of them are repetitive. When I work with clients in regard to breaking the cycle of negative thinking, I often start by having them think about their brain in the following way:
Your Brain is Just another Organ
Think of your brain as just another organ in your body, like your heart, your liver, your lungs, and so on. Each of these organs has a very specific job to do. Your heart is responsible for the circulation of blood, your liver’s job is to filter this blood, your lungs do all the breathing, and the job of your brain is to think thoughts. That’s just what it does, it thinks thoughts. Here’s the important part, and a big “ah-ha” for a lot of people – You are not your thoughts! It’s true. You are not your thoughts; you are the witness, the observer, of your thoughts. You are the awareness behind the thoughts, just like you are aware of your heart pumping and your lungs breathing.
This change in perspective is the first step in the understanding that you have the ability to control your thoughts. Our emotions are the result of the thoughts we are thinking, so it makes sense that as you learn to control your thoughts, you also learn to control your feelings.
Inventory of Thoughts
The inventory of thoughts available for your brain to think about resides in your subconscious mind and may be stimulated by your immediate environment. Your brain will latch onto the thoughts that are on the path of least resistance. This might include recent thoughts related to something you just watched on TV or saw in a movie; read about in a book, magazine, email, or Facebook post; recent or previous conversations; a physical or emotional trauma; or a well-established conditioned response, etc.
As your brain begins to review, or “think” these thoughts, you unwittingly jump on-board and lose yourself in thought! This is when the associated emotions to these thoughts take hold and you find yourself immersed in the emotional drama of a situation that isn’t even happening at the present moment, although it “feels” very real, very relevant, and usually very serious. It’s almost as if your thoughts are thinking you!
What can you do?
The first step is to grasp the reality that you are not your thoughts, and that you do have the ability to control which thoughts dominate your attention. If you are plagued by thoughts that prevent you from getting to sleep at night, or that wake you up in the middle of the night, I recommend that you pay close attention to what you are focusing on 90 minutes before bed each night. Specifically, stop watching the news – period. Give up the habit of discussing events that you find disturbing. Make up your mind to focus only on those topics that help you accomplish what you need for the day, and that bring you enjoyment.
Easier said than done? Not necessarily. With hypnosis, you can easily train your brain to focus on thoughts of gratitude and appreciation instead of replaying those negative thoughts over and over. Through the use of hypnosis you can create a new conditioned response and train your brain to turn off the negative thoughts by visualizing a remote control or a light switch on the wall, and when you flip that switch or click the off button on the remote control your thoughts immediately change to more productive, acceptable, pleasant thoughts. By actively training your brain to think thoughts on purpose you are effectively taking control of the way you think and feel.
Learning to take control of the thoughts your brain is thinking can be a life-changing experience. As you learn to control which thoughts dominate your attention, you also control the way you feel. Remember, our subconscious minds do not know the difference between thinking about something and really experiencing that something in real time. If you focus on something negative or painful that happened in the past, you will evoke the same emotional state as if the event were happening again, right now. The same is true by focusing on something wonderful, joyful, or exciting! Even if it’s not happening right now, your emotional state is a reflection of your state of mind. Be in charge of the thoughts you think, and thus the feelings you feel, starting right now by using hypnosis to break the cycle of negative thinking.
By utilizing the power of your mind, assisted by the use of hypnosis, you can truly become a deliberate thinker.