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Managing Difficult Thoughts Mindfully

Our mind is a powerhouse; from helping us make new friends, to getting us ahead in life, our mind does it all. It constantly works to make sense of our experiences. It also has an interesting tendency of creating stories to understand our world. However sometimes, in this pursuit, our mind can end up making false judgments.

For example, you may feel  like you don’t belong in your friend circle, or you may feel that you are not prepared for your exams. Coming up with scenarios to fill in the gaps of the actual truth can lead our mind to jump to conclusions, many of which are difficult to cope with! 

So how does one manage difficult thoughts mindfully?

The difficult thoughts are self sabotaging to the mind and can cause you to battle with your inner self. Therefore here are three easy steps to managing your difficult thoughts mindfully.

To begin with,  identify one difficult thought that you struggle with often. 

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Now describe this difficult thought in some detail. 

While thinking about it follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Remind yourself;

  • This is merely a passing thought. If I don’t engage, it will fade away.
  • This thought is a story that my mind has created. It is not necessarily true.
  • We have a tendency to have more negative thoughts than positive ones. It is not my fault that I am stuck with it.

Step 2: Try not to add to the thought;

Make a conscious attempt to avoid adding to the thought. Resist other difficult thoughts that add on to create a false story in your mind.

Step 3: Return to the present;

You can ask yourself: Where am I now? What am I doing now? How can I pay attention to what is happening right now in my life instead of paying attention to the thought? 

You can take three deep breaths mindfully to bring yourself back to the present. You can also pay attention to sounds or to whatever activity you are involved in.

Remember you are trying a new approach to mindfulness. Managing difficult thoughts will take some time and patience. Be kind to yourself !

about the author

Simran Sharma

Simran works with teenagers, young adults, and the adult population. Her goal is to provide a non-judgmental environment to help clients become more self-aware and make a difference in their lives.

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