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It has been estimated that the average human being has around 50,000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of thoughts. Some of these thoughts are going to be positive and productive. Unfortunately, however, many of them are also going to be negative – angry, fearful, pessimistic, worrisome. Indeed, the important question in terms of becoming more peaceful isn’t whether or not you’re going to have negative thoughts – you are – it’s what you CHOOSE to do with the ones you have.

In a practical sense, you really have only two options when it comes to dealing with negative thoughts. You can analyse your thoughts – ponder, think through, study, think some more, or you can learn to IGNORE them – dismiss, pay less attention to them, and not take them so seriously. This later option, learning to take your negative thoughts less seriously, is infinitely more effective in terms of learning to be more peaceful.

When you have a thought, any thought, that’s all it is – a thought! IT CAN’T HURT YOU WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.

For example, if you have a thought from your past, “I’m upset because my parents didn’t do a very good job,” you can get into it, as many do, which will create inner turmoil for you. Do you really want to relive that thought over and over again You can relive it or CHOOSE to think about it then dismiss it. It doesn’t mean your past didn’t happen, but let’s face it – can you change it? Possibly not, however you can certainly change how you think about it and certainly how often you think about it and what you choose to do with those thoughts.

The same mental dynamic applies to your most recent thoughts. Perhaps you had an argument with someone recently, maybe this morning on your way out the door. Once you have left the space of that argument it’s no longer an argument – it’s merely a thought. You can replay it, however that’s keeping you back into the argument and not progressing you a way forward. How helpful is that for you. And by the way do you always have to be right. Does an argument need a right and a wrong or could you agree to disagree? Ask yourself, does it really matter, will it matter in one week, one month, or one year from now? If not, then please, for your sake, let it go and move on to happier thoughts that take you into a more productive state of mind. When you enter into a peaceful state of mind through choosing what to do with your negative thoughts, you will find wisdom, common sense, and the answers to your questions.

Try it – practice it – enjoy it.

Practice ignoring your negative thoughts and choose your actions by asking yourself better questions. Remember that your thoughts can’t hurt you without your consent.

The above was inspired by Richard Carlson.



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