People who practice meditation report overall levels of satisfaction with life higher than others. In fact, researcher and psychologist Matt Killingsworth found that what makes people most happy is being fully present in the moment and that the more our minds wander the more unhappy we become 5. There is so much power in this simple practice. By practicing daily mindfulness meditation you will gradually cultivate more awareness and be less caught up in your mind.
I have provided a free meditation below that you can download and start practicing with but the best place to start is by the 7 Days of Mindfulness Course that you can take for free here. This is a practice of untangling from thoughts over and over again, a habit which translates in the rest of your life too. It becomes a habit to notice and let go with ease. Each time you let go of the thought stream and come back into the present moment you tap into the stillness and wholeness at the heart of who you are. A sense of peace, lightness and joy arises more and more with each time you practice.
Each time you are kind and gentle with yourself when your mind wanders, instead of criticising yourself, you are strengthening your self-compassion for challenging moments in the rest of your daily life. You become more resilient to stress and cultivate a kinder mind. If you find yourself in this position there are some further tools you can use to untangle from your thoughts and change your focus. These are called the helpful questions for unhelpful thoughts. These are drawn from ACT acceptance and commitment therapy. You can use some of these questions to mentally question negative thoughts and use others to change your focus.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you untangle from the thought. You ask them and then you can answer them in your head. Usually you would just pick one of these at any given time. Then you can mentally ask these questions below to create new focus and new possibilities.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)!
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These questions will help you focus on constructive thoughts and actions and help you effectively face your day-to-day challenges and move towards living a more meaningful life. Again, you may only use of of these at a time but you could always try more than one too.
They will also help you take constructive action and move towards living a more meaningful life. Constructive thinking allows you to be happy when things are going good, and puts problems in perspective when times get tough so you can stay calm and clear headed and deal with them in a practical efficient way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
True change takes time but I promise you with a bit of patience and practice these four keys have the capacity to truly change your world from the inside out. The more you practice these tools, the more they will become like second nature to you. I hope this blog is helpful to you.
If you have any questions or need clarification of any point here please jot them down in the comments section below. A 4-Step Process and Free Meditation.
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Here is a meditation you can use for overcoming negative thinking that incorporates some of the keys above. This is one of many meditations I have recorded for the Meditation Studio app my favourite meditation app — you can find more of their high quality meditations available here. Download Audio Now. Stay in the Moment. You have so constructively presented a hard to understand concept in a clear and concise way that seems attainable.
I have a degree in psychology, I have been to ministers, classes, Law of Attraction groups, and counselors and never get what I just got here. I thank you from the bottom of my soul for sharing this info without greed…. I think you saved my life today. I have two children, yet I have had suicidal thoughts due to hopelessness until this. Only wish I were in Australia to attend a reatreat!!!!!!! Thank you. Your name and tag strategy worked perfectly for me. Yesterday i got into a verbal fight, and it was continuously replaying in my head with all possible variations.
I was feeling tense from inside. Letting go feels like chipping my masculinity but i knew that whole outcome is not at all worthy. Now i have given a funny name to whole set of thought. Surprisingly saying that funny term makes me smile and thus more calm. Thank you again for giving me such a useful tool for life.
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Just wanted to say thanks so much for this article, Melli. I am really struggling mentally with anxiety and depression at the moment, but I have saved the link to this article and intend to re-read it at least weekly, to remind myself how to deal with the negative thoughts. As you mention above, I have found that, when an anxiety attack comes on, it is helpful to focus on my surroundings and the present moment; I make myself list things I can see, hear and feel, out loud if I can, and it does help calm me down.
Again, thanks for making your website and articles available to the public, I do find them helpful. I have no words to thank you. The way you have written all this has actually let my mind learn while reading only and every morning before waking up from sleep I use to feel bitter taste in heart and today morning I reminded my mind oh just a thought which I labelled and I felt calm…. I hope after proper practising it will yield full results… Thank you very much..
I simply wished to thank you so much yet again. It actually was an absolute alarming setting in my circumstances, but discovering the specialized avenue you managed the issue took me to cry over happiness. I am sure you have never got to know all of us. After reading each and every step, i could feel inner healing every moment, i thank you for all this, am going to practice this for good results, and i hope it will be more helpful, cos all along i have been a prisoner for negative thoughts, thanks again!!!
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For as long as I remember negative thoughts have consumed all aspects of my life, I have just come across this as I was trying to find some answers,wow it opened up the possibility of having a peaceful life,I always fight my negative thoughts and all hell breaks loose up there, but the name and tame way of thinking truly has opened up a beautiful door,once I name what ever negative thought is there a little more space gets filled up with compassion, and compassion is followed by peace,then we all sit down and chat together,suddenly love joins in and before we know it there is a gathering of beautiful emotions,the negative is still there but slides a little further away each time,this is the first day of the rest of my life ,thankyou so much.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Very point you wrote about our negative emotions is related to me. I have started to practice the techniques you mentioned to overcome this emotions. For years I have been in my head and struggling with some very negative thoughts about myself and depression and has been hard to stop these processes. Reading this has opened up new ways of thinking for me and i hope to find some better more creative self awareness and peace of mind from all of my tangled destructive thought processing.
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If we are not allowing our thoughts to be there, then diversion will not be an effective process, at least not from my experience. We have to go counter-intuitive and no longer wish to escape from them. When we approach our negative thoughts and feelings this way, we can transcend them and therefore heal. If we view them as tools to make us feel better, then we will tie unrealistic expectations to them and create a tense and regimental experience every time we immerse ourselves in our hobbies.
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This is hugely counter-productive as it will just create more suffering. As a result of allowing ourselves to be with the thoughts and feelings and immersing ourselves in the things we enjoy doing, how could this not create a healing experience which brings us back to emotional wellness? Thank you so much for your help, I honestly believe these will help me a lot! These techniques I am sure will help.
Thank you so much!
Thank you for sharing. My mind can be like a tennis match in a beehive sometimes. I look forward to trying to apply some of these techniques, primarily Name it to Tame it, and growing my awareness of things like low self-esteem. After 40 years in therapy my first glimpses of happiness are here!