Beyond the positive and the negative thoughts
Throughout the day, we got thousands and thousands of different thoughts. Scientists measured that every minute brain generates 50 thoughts, but around 80% of them are negative.
We all know that positive thinking is very important for our health. Several studies in U.S. and Europe have shown that optimism helps people to cope with the disease. It prolongs life, protects from viral infections, and improves overall health in general. When we are under stress, our immune system can not work efficiently, all the energy goes to cope with it, so it makes sense to stay positive as much as possible.
Unfavorable thoughts can literally eat us, and what is worse, they can even bring aggression on:
- when we are overwhelmed by negative information or a situation
- when too many things go wrong quickly and suddenly
- when reality does not suit our expectations
- when we are exhausted, hungry, without proper sleep, solving too many tasks at once
There is no energy left to drive the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that responds constructively. The lower parts of the brain are now trying to solve the difficulties because it does not have enough energy to think the situation over.
So the automatic program "saving from danger" is being started. The danger here is not visible. It saves us "only" from collapsing.
When we are not in harmony, every little demand for a new portion of energy can easily discomfort us. It is a big bargain for our operational system. We are not able to go through the situation with calm and full consciousness. We react with mechanisms we have learned from childhood. It is instinctive and defensive. Often the reaction can be exaggerated. We need to get rid of the problem for anything else is no energy left.
(I am sometimes horrified what kind of an old witch is sitting in my head, full of anger and fear, but yes, she is my loyal defender.)
So how to get rid of negative thoughts?
How can we find the magic shift to the calm state of mind: "I am ok with anything to come."
Forcing to positive thinking, repeating the affirmations is for me principally artificial and weird, or it works just for a couple of minutes anyway.
Can there be in the head something in between, something close to meditation? Something for those of us, who have a neurotic and sensitive constitution, or just raising too many children? Something relaxing when solving 4 different tasks and getting 3 urgent questions at once?
And then, in the middle of the children's playground, full of movement, colors, joyful screams, and laughter, I found out how to clear my mind while contemplating an old Greek saying:
"The waves on the surfaces must stay still if you want to see what is beneath the deep."
It was such a great relief when I realized that it was so simple. I don't have to stop thinking. I only have to slow my brain! And in what situation is my brain really slow- when using foreign languages!
The mind is so busy finding the proper translation that there is no other space for anything else. It can not skip to criticism, comparison, blaming, catastrophizing. It is the KEY to cleaning the mind. I sit still and describe what I see around in any foreign language, something like an old victorian game: "I spy my little eye, and I see ....."
I sit for a while and translate all the pictures my eyes see, then I focus on the feeling, what my body perceives. Quickly the mind is much clearer.
And then, from the void, it is much easier to see any situation without heavy emotional dirt.
Make a joy from brushing the brain 3 times a day!