Positive and negative thoughts differ in their frequency and impact on the mind. Most of our thoughts (up to 70%) equate to 40,000 negative thoughts daily. Recent studies show that excessive negative thinking can harm the neural structures responsible for emotions, memory, and feelings.
Our samskaras, or negative thoughts, increase stress hormones. They also rewire the brain to create a more substantial negativity bias. Several tools, both from the East and the West, can help you remove negative thoughts and untangle your samskaras. They also physically rewire your brain so that you experience more peace, calm, and joy.
Negatives should be labeled and thrown away
To manage negative thoughts, it is essential to label them as either positive or negative. Begin by identifying each idea and deciding if it’s positive or negative. If you have trouble remembering thoughts, ask yourself, “Is this thought helpful or not?” or “Is this thought true or false?”. When a negative review is identified, it will motivate you to quickly discard it and focus on something neutral, such as your breath, Drishti, or other similar things. Or positive (gratitude, mantra, etc.). It would help if you tried to do this as often as possible during the day.
Enjoyment is the key to happiness
Being content is highly valued in yoga. Accepting the way things are can be a powerful remedy for negative thinking. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that by practicing Samtosha, we can achieve supreme happiness. If you find yourself feeling jealous of others, consider complimenting them. Or find a way that you can celebrate their success. You can use your discontent to motivate you to focus on the positive changes you have made (or are currently making) in your life.
Meditation helps you to focus your attention
While eliminating all thoughts is almost impossible, Meditation can be a powerful way to reduce and remove the most damaging and repetitive thought patterns from our minds. Meditation can increase your awareness about how many of your thoughts are negative. With practice, your concentration and focus will improve so you can focus away from these negative thoughts. Try different meditations to see which suits your personality, lifestyle, and constitution. Try japa mediation if your mind is always stuck in mental ruts. Try metta mediation if you find your thoughts too negative.
Change your lifestyle to change your mind
You can examine your larger thought patterns as you become more aware of your thoughts’ types, quantity, and quality. Negative thought patterns include worry, criticism, guilt, and hostility. Consider spending a few minutes each day reflecting on your thoughts. You can also journal about the ways you have noticed. Observe which reviews are most frequent and which make it difficult to let go. Consider and research the best antidotes for your most challenging thought patterns (forgiveness, gratitude, friendliness, etc.). What countermeasures would work best for you? Try these countermeasures whenever you see these negative thought patterns. Investigate the correlation between negative thought patterns and personal habits, daily activities, or choices such as diet, entertainment, work, friendships, etc. Try adopting a more yogic lifestyle and see how it affects your thoughts.
Reject false projections
Negative self-talk and self-criticism are two standard negative thought processes. This is due, from a yogic point of view to Asmita. It’s the tendency to over-identify with our ahamkara. Our self-images are flawed, distorted, and filled with false projections. This self-image may contain negative external views (I’m poor) and internal ones (I’m terrible). Vairagya (detachment), pratyahara (inward focus), svadhyaya (self-study/contemplation), and bhakti (devotion) are all effective yogic practices to examine, refine and reduce our over-identification with ahamkara and our dysfunctional self-image.
Kindness and compassion towards yourself
When you feel this way, it is essential to incorporate and practice self-compassion and kindness. It is important to practice self-compassion when this occurs. Acknowledge that these techniques can be challenging to master. Allow yourself to be loving and tender to your mind and heart when exploring the suffering our minds can cause. Please list what you can do to nurture yourself when you need it.
It is difficult to minimize and eliminate negative thoughts. Our evolution has programmed us to be more antagonistic toward our environment. Our brains are more reactive and sensitive toward negative experiences and ideas than positive ones. It has been a good thing to keep us safe from danger, but it has also increased mental suffering. We have yoga tools to help combat negative thoughts and promote peace, calm, and joy.