Sometimes, certain thoughts disturb our rest because they bother us and repeat themselves without controlling them. The bothersome thoughts cause us other thoughts, bothersome emotions, and wrong behaviors. Annoying thoughts are an intricate problem that I have been dealing with for many years. In this post, I will share with you ways to deal with the problem.
We will begin to understand that there are several types of bothersome thoughts:
- Present harassment
- Thoughts on the future
- Thoughts on the past
- Thoughts on nonsense
- Thoughts on fantasies
An example of dealing with thoughts about the past:
I often remember my ex-wife, whom I knew when I was severely depressed. In retrospect, she married me because I had money (so she thought at least), but she hated me. She did the death for me for a year and a half in which we were married. She finally abandoned me, emptying everything she could into the apartment.
Since then, at every opportunity, I remember her. My feelings changed from boundless love to hatred through apathy, and thoughts of revenge came to me. I sometimes thought of writing her hate letters (or love letters, all depending on the mood). I imagined all sorts of things, including murder. (The difference between me and people, as you hear about them in the news, doing such things, is that I realized that these are fantasies that did not go from thought to execution).
How do I deal with it today? I tell myself she's just one, like many like her. I tell myself that my story would have sounded utterly banal to me if it had been about someone else and someone else. I also built myself a short sentence: "Closed affair," which I say to myself as soon as a thought "about it" arises. It became a kind of reflex; I immediately stop thinking about it instead of thinking about it for hours. Take this as a tip against annoying thoughts.
The "short sentence" method helps me in cases of other troublesome thoughts: for example, when I remember a scam I fell victim to, I say to myself: "I got most of my money back," or "Atonement!" - Depending on the case.
An example of dealing with thoughts about fantasies:
After something I have done has been successful and praised, my imagination begins to run wild: "My success will not end there! I will be interviewed on radio and television; I will receive such and such an award ...". Then I say to myself: we all make movies like these for ourselves. So, what's wrong with that? It is not dangerous as long as we know that these are mere fantasies and do not confuse imagination with reality.
Let us return to thoughts in general:
As I wrote in the post "How to deal with anxiety", one should not get excited about emotions! And the same goes for thoughts! Like emotions, they are also signals in response to feelings, emotions, and associative thoughts. No need to get excited about them!
We are above our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors! We can listen to them and take them over instead of letting them take over us. It is in our power, for example, to interpret events that excite us in such a way that they will cause us peace of mind and that we will make the right decisions. This, on one hand, is all theory of positive thoughts (seeing the glass as half full).
We have seen that troublesome thoughts are a particular case of thoughts in general: signals sent to our minds. Thoughts are not us. As we stand above our emotions, we stand above them, and we can accept, reject, and change them. The above is also true of our fantasies: they are meant to serve us and teach us about ourselves. We are above them: we should use them but not confuse them with reality.
- Do you suffer from troublesome thoughts?
- On what topics?
- How do you deal with them?