Are you addicted to unhappiness?
Is your first waking thought of the day negative?
Is your memory of past unpleasant memories as vivid today as the day it happened, down to every last detail?
Does your mind have a natural tendency to lean towards unhappy thoughts?
Do you harbor long term grudges and find it hard to forgive?
Do you find yourself deriving satisfaction and a certain degree of justification from recycling negative talks?
Why is it so easy to go with the flow of negativity and so hard to be positive?
I read a very good analogy by Swami Vivekananda. He likened negative thoughts to pathogenic bacteria. With the optimum conditions of temperature, pH, nutrients and energy, bacteria can grow and divide at an exponentially alarming rate. I read somewhere that if the ripe conditions were maintained constantly these bacteria could multiply into a ball the size of earth within a week!
“Negative thought bacteria” grow and multiply in a similar manner as long as we keep providing it the stratum of optimum negative conditions and the fodder of negative nutrients. When a person is infected he is capable of spreading that infection to anyone in close proximity. In real life we quarantine people who are sick. Of course this can vary in extent depending on the nature of the infection. But whether it is constantly reminding everyone in general to cover their mouths and nose when they cough or sneeze or whether it is quarantining someone in a clean room with limited access, the basic goal is to contain the infection and prevent it from spreading to everyone else. Then why don’t we do the same for these negative thought bacteria?
So what are the antibiotics for negative thought bacteria?
First and foremost you have to have an honest desire to be truly and unconditionally happy. You have to really want it. Now who doesn’t want to be truly happy? Theoretically speaking, choosing happiness seems like the only ideal response. But when translated to applying it in real life, we most often choose actions that perpetuate our misery. You have to be so sick and tired of carrying stagnant energy inside of you, and so tired of being angry at life and everyone else that you have to be genuinely willing to give up the self indulgent distorted sense of satisfaction you derive from blaming everyone else for every problem in your life. If you are ready to make that shift, chances are you will most likely follow the ‘antibiotic prescription’ below for as long as it takes to kill/contain the negative thought bacteria.
Cultivate Positive Thought Bacteria Instead: Practice this exercise daily. Make a conscious decision to think of a happy thought. It could be anything from a past happy memory to a future happy or fun moment that you anticipate (like a vacation) or even something imaginary; but it has to be something that makes you smile. Provide it the stratum and nutrients to make it grow and divide by amplifying these thoughts and feelings through visualization. Visualize joy radiating through every pore of your being. Visualize glowing health. The initial positive thought in turn will trigger other positive memories and thoughts. Try to maintain this feeling for as long as possible.
Meditate: If you haven’t started yet, there is no more time to loose. Meditation is so effective that it singlehandedly has the power to help you overcome all negativity. It will significantly increase your threshold for stress and emotional distress. Here is a very simple meditation technique for you. We breathe at an average of 16 times per minute. Reduce your breathing to 3 times per minute. Focus your attention on your breath, inhaling to a mental count of 10 and then exhaling to a mental count of 10. Breathe normally, but slowly. Your breath should be soft and quiet, not raspy. Do this for at least 10 minutes in a secluded and quiet space while sitting in a comfortable meditative posture. This is just to provide you a starting point. You can customize to a count that meets your comfort point.
P.S. Try to slow down your breathing gradually. Don’t go from 17 breaths/minute to 3 breaths/minute in 30 seconds. Take your time.
Practice grounding techniques like certain yoga poses, hand mudras, and pranayam. Practice these techniques with focused attention so that your mind, body and spirit become one. If you are mechanically and mindlessly doing the poses and your mind is wandering to all the useless or negative stuff, you won’t get anything out of this session. Walking and spending more time outdoors in nature, sitting on the ground and practicing grounding visualization techniques can aid with the grounding process.
Recognize enablers: These are people who fuel your fire by further justifying your negative emotions instead of pacifying them. They provide the additional nutrients that make your negative thought bacteria grow. Spend more time with positive people around whom you feel grounded and centered and at ease. They are vibrating at a higher frequency. Bliss vibrates at a higher frequency. Sorrow, disease and sickness vibrate at a much lower frequency. Make your pick.
Exercise your will power to keep from succumbing to the temptation of negative thoughts; maybe its time to stand up TO yourself instead of standing up for yourself.
Watch positive and happy shows that make you laugh.
Read positive and inspiring stories/books/articles before bedtime. You are more likely to wake up the next morning feeling positive.
Eat foods with high vibration frequency. These are your fresh foods, fruits and vegetables.
Increase your awareness of your self. This will help keep a check on every time your mind spaces out and sways towards negativity. Smile-it will help diffuse a lot of that negative energy. Develop a sense of humor in general. Embrace life instead of stifling it.
“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to
stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having
overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world”~ Gautam Budhha
Recommended Reading: You are What You Think