Your brain is nothing but a box of negative thought patterns. For many of you riding the negative wave, you will realize the hopelessness and futility of the situation. Failed medications, behavioral therapies, this and that healing, all down the drain.
This article is in a way a close associate of the article free from worry. The key difference between worry and negative thought is that you could be worrying for good – for your finances, for your relationship or else. There could be a bondage to constant impulsive thinking – for good or for bad. Negative thoughts on the other hand arise feelings that cause a much higher level of bondage and are normally considered bad and debilitating – generally those of fear, anxiety, depression. It just limits you of your life energy. Nevertheless, the mechanism to both is not much different. Deep down the truth would only lie in that one thing – to know that there is a metaphysical aspect to you, that you are not your mind.
Just observe when a negative thought arises within you. Say a thought of fear. Now a common reaction will be to stop thinking of fear but in doing so you actually trace the neural pathways that make the connection stronger. Remember your brain is geared around its survival, around fear and so the slightest instance that can be of potential harm will be encoded very strongly through the synaptic neural connections. The likelihood of they being traced in the future will be equally larger. The more you suppress, the more they will surface.
More so, these negative thought patterns of fear and distress will always linger around in the background as you go about doing the various activities while subtly expanding its reach through attaching other related fearsome scenarios. You will be living in the fear of the fear returning back. But again, this is how your brain has been designed, to raises its ears at the slightest possible threat so that you can survive. This is what it is suppose to do for your survival. Since these are eventually neural connections, it really cannot distinguish between what is a life threatening situation or one that is simply an undesirable situation in current social standing. To the brain, both are fearsome situations. Why negative thoughts come in my mind in a way is like asking why does my stomach digest.
So to avoid such a scenario, to remove unwanted fears or getting rid of negative thoughts from your system, you need to move away from strengthening the paths. There are two ways to it – either change your thinking or stop paying attention.
Changing the thinking means that possibly your conceptual understanding of the situation that is causing you fear. So correct understanding can do the trick as you realize genuinely that the situation is not fearsome. In all cases of fear and wherever possible, fear can only be overcome by fear. So if you cannot avoid it, face it.
For others and I believe for most, who have already said meanwhile ‘But my situation is indeed undesirable and fearsome and complex’, the option of not paying attention and not fueling them further is the answer. Easier said than done, there are nuances involved as the very situations you think that you are not paying attention to, you might actually end up paying more attention and making the situations worse. But this simple concept, if understood right, is taking you straight down the road of spirituality. That is what you are here to learn. Not paying attention would simply mean that you need to create a space between you and your thoughts. And not associating with thoughts or being detached is an integral part of spirituality. Only then you will know the repetitive negative thought patterns that your brain is playing out as certain neural connections have gained larger strength within yourself. The topic ‘3 pronged approach for faster spiritual breakthrough’ will set the base for you to an extent. Know that overcoming influence of thoughts and its mind, be it worry or be it a stronger negative thought implies that you have to overcome the mind. It is nothing but understanding that you are more than your mind, a metaphysical being. Even renowned and reputed scholars and sages like Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj have asked us to stay put on this thought of ‘I am’ which is that you exist irrespective of what’s happening to your body and around. This can only be achieved by distancing from the mind. This is nothing but a spiritual breakthrough.
Again, what I am presenting here is a guideline, albeit in a bit detail. However for a larger insight and I would recommend it, you should read the book ‘Can You Play’. There I have the liberty to put things in larger detail. For e.g. How meditation actually affects your brain and mind has been explained in depth over there. What steps to expect during meditation is also explained out there and that will help a lot as you can corroborate your experiences with the steps highlighted therein. You might also want to do some preparatory steps before the mind readies for meditation. And more importantly, you need not suffer as you are going through spiritual healing. The holistic approach for quicker and effective all round vitality for both your material and spiritual elevation is noted in depth. Remember, even Buddha had to acknowledge the importance of milk and diet in general on his path to wisdom.
Overcoming negative thought patterns is not a piece of cake. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful and a challenging journey.