Unwanted thoughts - pictureAre you having unwanted thoughts that sneak into your mind all the time?  Do you find you can’t switch them off, and churn them around and around like clothes in a washing machine?  Are these thoughts holding you back from just getting on with your life?  We have a staggering 50,000 thoughts per day – the vast majority of those are negative and even more of them are repetitive. The more we have a thought, the more we believe it.  If you can break this destructive cycle, and exchange them for positive thoughts, or just obliterate them altogether, your mood, anxiety and stress levels plus your self-esteem will improve.  (And your sleep pattern, too, as an added bonus!)

Maybe you haven’t considered this, but a thought is just a thought, or an opinion – they’re not the full picture, and they’re often not a reality.  (We often play out in our minds what might happen, or could happen, when in reality, nothing of the sort takes place.)  They’re seen from our own map of the world: our perspective.  Whatever passes through our minds we consider real.  The more we think them, the more we believe them.  We believe our thoughts are real, and not just ideas passing through our minds.   But that’s all they are – ideas, opinions, possible scenarios……. thoughts.

Part of the problem is that thoughts pop up at unexpected times – and are not in our control.  So we begin to dread having those unwanted thoughts, because we never know when the next one is coming, and this causes fear and anxiety.  Trying to avoid having the thoughts doesn’t work – try not to think of a pink elephant on a tightrope!

So, Tip 1:  To gain control over the thoughts, rather than trying to ‘push them down’, deliberately try to make the unwanted thought happen over the course of the next few days.  This way the brain is trained to recognise the fact that it has control over when,  where (and if) you have the thought.  Eventually the brain gets bored with having the same thought – it realises it has a choice and is no longer interested in entertaining it.

Tip 2:  Start labelling it as just a thought.  An idea.  A concept.  You don’t need to act on it, or do anything about it, or believe it – it’s just a thought.  And remember – it can’t control you, but you can control it!

Tip 3:  Just after you’ve decided that it’s ‘just a thought’ then white it out.  Put it on a screen in front of you (like a cinema screen in your mind) and use your imaginary remote control to take out all the colour, and turn the screen white.  Turn off any sound or smells or anything else that accompanies the thought, and just obliterate it.   Or imagine the thought on the screen, and just pull the great big heavy fire curtains across the screen, to block it out – so you can no longer see it, or hear it.  Keep it at bay.   Think of it as removing the thought from your head, and leaving it behind the curtain – unable to reach you.

Of course, these are only a few simple ideas to help you get control of unwanted thoughts, and as a trained NLP & hypnotherapy practitioner I can help you in many other ways to get to the root cause of your thoughts, and negative thinking patterns, and get rid of them for good.  Please contact me if you need help.

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Please accept this blog in the spirit in which it is offered.  I am intending only to give you some light hearted food for thought here – not reams of indigestible facts that you can find elsewhere all over the internet.  If any of the suggestions ring a bell for you – great.  This is a simplified version to give you a taster, so if your problem is more serious, and you feel you need more in-depth professional help, please contact me.  I can help you identify any underlying issues that may be holding you back, and allow you to kick-start the process of moving you forward again.  And of course, if you feel the need to visit your GP please go straight away.  NLP, hypnotherapy and counselling are not a substitute for professional medical advice, but a complementary therapy.  Thank you for reading this, and I hope to meet you soon.