In my attempts to allow negative thoughts and emotions only the shortest possible visit to my being, I have tried various eviction methods.
Once, I tried fining myself one dollar every time I said the word, "should." By the end of the day, I was broke, and I had to give that up.
Another time, I made the mistake of giving someone near and dear to me permission to tell me when I spoke a negative thought. This resulted in fights, and I hastily withdrew permission.
Finally, I found some methods that have worked for me.
Negative thoughts have a number of clever ways to pick your locks and break and enter.
One of these is masquerade. They pose as normal expression about issues over which any reasonable person would get upset: the cost of insurance, the cost of visiting a doctor, anything related to dentistry, certain family members. It's very easy to find oneself sinking into the emotional equivalent of quicksand before even realizing that that you stepped into it.
One of the greatest temptations the masquerade offers is that if you're launching a rant on one of your favorite subjects, you may think of some very clever and amusing things to say. You don't want to ditch them for the sake of feeling positive, do you? You do.
Some forms of negativity are always humming in the background, like the refrigerator. "My daughter never picks up her clothes." "My boss always gives me something to do five minutes before I'm supposed to leave." "It's impossible to find a good handyman." We can get so used to thinking these thoughts that we hardly realize that we are.
A special, but not uncommon way that negative thoughts sneak into awareness occurs among those who don't feel comfortable about expressing anger, either generally or in a specific area. They may build up their cases, i.e., dwelling on how awful the situation is, how unfair, how totally wrong, how vile, etc. This helps them to reach the point where they feel not only totally justified in exploding, but push themselves into a state where explosion is guaranteed.
If expressing anger is an issue for you (and it often is for spiritual people), you can use one of the techniques below to stop yourself from dwelling on the particular issue. Then do some work on the question of anger itself. (See the end of this article for some resources on the web site that may be helpful.)
Ask yourself why you don't feel justified to express anger. Many interesting conclusions may emerge. You may be afraid that another's anger is more powerful than yours. You may feel that you don't deserve to be angry about an issue. You may not like the way anger feels. Whatever comes up, find a way to address it. Two helpful Bach Flower Remedies are Holly, for the dissolving of anger, and Larch, for self-esteem.
However negativity shows up in your mental/emotional being, it's important to pay attention and catch yourself at the first sign that you're thinking and feeling something you'd rather not. You're not going to recognize every bit of negativity at first.
This is a blessing, because otherwise you might be overwhelmed by the huge volume of work you have to do. If you can catch one percent of your negative thoughts initially, you can consider yourself successful, because you are beginning to shift the vibrational balance towards positive thinking.
The moment you catch yourself drifting towards negativity, say one of the following:
Consider the above phrases the ingredients of a starter kit. With a little thought, you can surely find ones that will suit you much better.
Below is a method I spontaneously developed one day.
One day, when I was right on the verge of a rant, it felt like bouncing on a diving board, in preparation for the dive. But what was wrong with diving? I wondered, until I looked down and saw that the pool was dry.
The diving board metaphor proved to be highly effective in preventing me from plunging into rants. Every time I found myself in the early stages of rant-dom, I thought, "Here I am on the diving board, and the pool is empty." The urge to complain dissipated.
If the diving board image doesn't work for you, think of something else.
A good way to find your own symbol is to stop when you catch yourself turning onto the road of complaint and saying to yourself, "This feels like when I'm . . . ." An image will probably come to you.
Whatever trigger you use to derail the train ride to suffering, you'll find that you want to vary or change it. All cues lose their freshness with usage. You want to keep your mind entertained. If your prompt makes you laugh, that's half the battle won.
Sodalite is most helpful when your thoughts are distracting and confusing you. A stone that helps in mental and emotional balance, it's a good one to keep close by at all times.
Carnelian is known as the "Be here now" crystal. It helps to focus our attention on the present minute. Hold a carnelian and focus on something positive.
You can program a clear quartz crystal to help you catch yourself when the temptation to rant begins. See http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/crystal/program.shtml for instructions. You may want to carry the crystal with you and hold it when temptation strikes.
All the essences described here are Bach Flower Remedies.
Chestnut Bud is for the "over and over again" syndrome. The same subjects always seem to hook you: taxes, government, the failure of your children to listen to you, whatever gets you ready to dive into the empty pool. This essence helps you to recognize patterns of error and dissolve them.
Many people get overwhelmed thinking of all the things they have to do. Elm is the solution. It may not reduce the length of your "to do" list, but, by reducing the mental and emotional aspects of being overwhelmed, it can make that list more manageable.
White Chestnut has an over and over quality, too. It's especially helpful when you get lost in thinking about what you should have done or said. It may involve going over meetings and what went wrong (often accompanied by all the brilliant remarks you would have made, if only you'd thought of them in time) or repetitive worries on any subject. This essence can help you to leave the past behind and to realize that worrying about the future doesn't improve it.
Beyond the Rainbow