We all have them from time to time – some nagging thoughts keep popping into your head, and you can’t seem to banish them. They keep coming back at inopportune times, or whenever you least expect it.
You keep trying to change the thought, focus on something else. But the unwanted thought and the feelings associated with it keep nagging at you.
So how do you get rid of it? Is there a way?
Here are three simple yet powerful ways to banish unwanted thoughts using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
Much of our daily activities and thoughts are unconsciously and unintentionally operating. If we can learn ways of getting better control over our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and if we can be in control of how we respond to various situations, we can attain greater success in many areas of our lives.
NLP teaches, among other things, that our physiology, feelings and thoughts are interrelated. Our emotions and thoughts ebb and flow, and sometimes we get stuck with a repetitive and unwanted thought. We call them bad thoughts. It does not help to try and think of something else or deny that they exist. Attempting to avoid the thought keeps you paying attention to it, and in some ways, reinforces the thought.
1. “It’s just a thought!”
Making the connection between the thought and the feeling that arises from it is the problem. Thoughts and feelings are neither positive or negative, it’s the label we ascribe to them that colors our view of them. A thought or an emotion is just a thought or emotion; it has no “meaning” in and of itself. It may be an opinion or idea about something. It is when we attach feelings to our thoughts that they become powerful – and especially if we choose to act on them; that’s when we incur problems.
You may think your thoughts and feelings are real and not imagined, but keep in mind that there are usually many different ways any situation can be interpreted.
Everything we experience is filtered through our senses, our expectations, and our past experiences and how we learned to interpret them. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imaginary.
The beliefs we hold tend to distort “reality.” The mind selectively chooses evidence that supports the belief, rejecting anything that does not support it.
Often in a given situation, there is an associative thought, which is a past memory of an experience that gets connected to a particular feeling or emotion. You can learn some effective strategies to banish or disempower these thoughts.
When you get an unwanted thought, remind yourself that it’s just a thought. It doesn’t mean it is real or true.
You’ll start to realize these thoughts are not worth thinking. The connection between the thought and feeling gets interrupted and broken, as the mind will get bored with them and pretty soon, you will not be thinking them.
2. Intentionally invite the thought
Allow yourself to intentionally call up the thought at times and situations that you choose. When we expect a thought to occur, it does, and then thinking about having the thought leads to anxiety and fear about having it. Resisting the thought will make it persist. This is a natural thing that happens occasionally to people.
When you deliberately think the unwanted thought, associate into it; be in your body, seeing, hearing and feeling what you see, hear and feel. Repeat this exercise at various times during the week. An amazing thing happens–the brain starts to learn that the thought is something that can be switched on or off at will. It is no longer automatic, out of your control.
3. White it out
A great technique is to let it go to “white out.” You’re having your unwanted thought, you say to yourself “It’s just a thought,” take a deep breath, relax, and see the image go to white out, like turning up the brightness knob on your TV until the picture fades to white. Practice as much as is necessary; you can learn to white it out instantly.
Do share in the comments below which technique works best for you. Bid farewell to unwanted thoughts.
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