It’s as old as the hills: “Just say NO to your negative thoughts.” How obvious, yawn. But these little nattering, negativities actually seem to take up space in the living room of your mind.
I’ve lived a pretty long, healthy life so far, with the usual amount of naysayers living in my head that I’m pretty sure clutter up most people’s thoughts at one time or another. Such as “Oh, this might not work right”, or “If I don’t worry about this something could go wrong”, or other seemingly small thought/behaviours that are small, chronic worries.
A Radio Station Work Me Up.
Those little thoughts/attitudes were so normal by now ….and I’ve paid a lot of attention to my thoughts and feelings over the years and have been oblivious to these guys and their smelly existence! A bright person on the radio one day called them “freeloaders” and that we should call them out and make them leave; they occupy space that can be filled with something else.
That woke me up. I started to think of the negative thought or worry that was the most recurrent to me and shouted (I was in the car so it was OK, heh heh) “Get out of here, you stupid freeloader”. Interesting experience. Actually getting angry at something that was a recurrent and unwelcome thought. Never did it before. Felt great!
Actually Changes My Life (I know, sounds a little simplistic).
There were unexpected results. The first is that I started seeing other negative thoughts or attitudes that are not helpful in my life. Secondly, when the thought reoccurs it’s less often, weaker, and can be chased out more quickly. And third, and the best reason for doing this in the first place, is that it’s replaced by something that’s positive and unpredicted.
I don’t know how to describe how that space was filled; occasionally things opened up in a direction that I wanted to go. Little things in my daily life sometimes were available that before had been outside my range of possibilities. I’m not saying this was a major life change, but a few things come more easily.
This process of chasing out negativity goes way, way back. There are biblical references, historical references of all kinds, probably even prehistoric. Somehow, I like to relate this to one of my favorite sayings: “You can’t defeat something until you face it.” In this case, it’s the negative freeloader.