Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Breaking into Negativity - Shit Happens Part III

How do you do this? You break into negativity of the moment by instructing your mind to “STOP”. You tell it, “don’t go there”. You command yourself to “cut it out”, “enough’s, enough”! If you find yourself obsessed with how unfair something or someone is and you keep going over it again and again, it will drive you nuts and be the foundation of significant emotional turmoil. Tell yourself to “knock the shit off”. Shit happens; you just don’t need to keep it…..

Instead of revisiting old repetitive negative, hurtful thoughts and feelings say to yourself, “It’s true, nothing is really fair. I know that and it is not up to me to make it fair. It is not my responsibility. I am going to stop thinking about what’s wrong and what’s unfair. I am going to do it NOW. I am not going to give it any more energy. I am just not going to go there. All it gets me is upset. I’ve thought about this “shit” enough. There is no benefit to anyone in thinking this way except becoming UPSET. So, what if it’s WRONG? It’s not up to me to make it RIGHT! This train of thought has no real value. I am not buying into this situation. Don’t go there! Stop it!”

True, it sounds silly but you have to combat the negativity until it slows down and STOPS. Like a run-a-way train you have to regulate the energy that drives it in order to get it under control.

The more you think about upsetting thoughts, the more energy you put into the unfairness, the more upset you will become. In other words, obsessive, repetitive thinking only makes things worse. It drives negative emotions and destructive behavior.

It is possible to STOP this hijacking of your mind. You don’t have to be the victim of unwanted thoughts and feelings. You can choose to think about something else and get yourself away from any negative emotions, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. Yes, it can be done but to do this you have to let go of some pretty strong beliefs that you see as unchangeable and “right”.

Albert Ellis believed in challenging people about what he called “cognitive errors”. Cognitive errors are those concrete ways of thinking that are inconsistent with reality. Now that’s a mouthful. So what are they anyway?

They are also thoughts which, most of the time, have become habitual. They are those should of’s, could of’s, must do’s, have to's, should do’s, and ought to’s that govern and then hijack a person’s mind. They are the thoughts that poison your mind and always lead to blame, guilt, depression and anger. They are beliefs that no matter how one slices the pie are just wrong. They create havoc and destruction in a person’s life. They are the chaos that happens when you insist that the world and everyone in it must act in or believe in the way you want it. True, it’s great when the “world” complies with your rules but most of the time the world just “doesn’t”. People who act like the world responds according to them and their ways of thinking place a terrific strain on themselves and others. You see them everyday. You may even be one of them. Most of the time they are just plain unhappy…

For example, if you believe that “Everyone should follow the rules”, a significant amount of conflict will happen if you live with someone who REFUSES to follow the rules. Some things just are not fair no matter how much you insist that they should be. It is not healthy to keep your tail in a ringer about something that you cannot change. Sometime you just have to accept. Now, that does not mean “give in” or “give up” but we will take about that next time…. In part IV we will talk about how to change your outlook through positive self talk and the necessity to dispute the beliefs that make you and others around you unhappy.

Until then, pay attention to those random thoughts and those concrete beliefs. You may be surprised at what you find.

As always, I’ve made my choices now it’s time to make yours…..

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