These tips that will help you deal with this vicious circle of thoughts are quite easy to implement if you choose to follow them and continue following them, when the thoughts re-emerge. Nothing will change if you try it once and then decide that because the thoughts do pop up again, the process has not worked. Remember: when you learned how to ride a bike, you probably fell off a couple of times first.
Tip 1: Become aware of the fact that you are having ruminating, revolving thoughts about a subject that is making you feel incrementally worse. Without this awareness, you will not be able to 'grab hold' of your thoughts, so to speak, in order to do something about them. In order to be aware, you may need to put up reminders for a few days, that jolt you into awareness: a few post-it's, perhaps, each saying: what am I thinking?
Tip 2: Now that you have your thoughts at the front of your head, so to speak, because you have remembered to be aware of them, ask yourself if you wish to continue ruminating. Let's imagine it's a health problem. Or work-related. Or financial. Or your relationship is rocky. All are major issues that many of us go through, but no matter how important they are, if you allow them to dictate your thoughts into toxicity, you will only make matters worse. So recognize that one thing is to give some predetermined 'proactive time' to your thoughts in order to see whether the problem can be solved, perhaps by brain-storming, researching, consulting with someone, but then, once that proactive time is over (and you will need to tell yourself each day how long you allow yourself to PROACTIVELY (not in a toxic way) think about this issue), then you need to agree with yourself that ruminating, worry-filled, fearful and stressful thoughts about that particular subject are no longer allowed today. So in this second tip what needs to be done, each and every time the thoughts rise up in you (and they will), is some method of changing that well-worn rut in your brain - that habit - that neural pathway, to a new one. A very simple way to do this is to focus on beauty, for example, notice a beautiful plant, or tree, or the sky, or clouds, or an animal in your surroundings. Then allow yourself to be grateful for that beauty in your life right now, as you focus on it, and really see its beauty, and then notice a mild sensation of peace in your solar plexus. This occurs because just for a moment you have moved yourself from past or future time to now time, and while you are present in now time, you can't focus on past or future fears, pains, and worries.
Tip 3: At this point, after tip #2, you may feel marginally better, but since you probably have little practice at doing this, you will need something else, to keep your mind in a better place than in that vicious circle of thoughts. On my other blog Rewiring the Soul you will find a list of links on the right sidebar if you scroll down far enough. In there, you will find many suggestions of sites that offer motivating or inspiring talks, articles, videos, etc. Even if you choose something that is an hour or longer, just sit and listen or watch or read for 10 or 15 minutes. This will help you not only keep the thoughts at bay, but begin to create new neural pathways that will help you do this more easily each time you try.
Finally, when the thoughts come again, as they will (at least for a time), repeat the above process. If you can't afford to do the third step each time due to the activity you are engaged in (work, home, family, etc.), at least do the first two steps, and then, as you engage in the activity you have at hand, try to be as mindful while you do so, as possible. This too will begin to change your brain and will help you feel better than if you engage in the activity plus ruminate. There is a great deal of material about this in both my blogs, on my website in the newsletter articles, as well in both of my books. I encourage you to give it a try. Learning to do this is not hard, and it can literally change your life.
Image: Ouroboros or Uroboros - an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
For more about understanding how you deal with your thoughts in your love life, in order to help you move towards spiritual partnership and inner peace, see my book The Tao of Spiritual Partnership in paperback format. (The Kindle version is available here)
To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here
This ground-breaking book addresses:
• relationship patterns that hold you back from a truly fulfilled life
• the strong connection between sexuality and spiritual partnership
• communication leading to true connection & lasting transformation of your relationship
It is precisely at the problematic crossroads so often encountered in relationships that we are offered the opportunity to create a new foundation based on mutual complementarity rather than need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together. Needing another, we are told, is the measure of love, but for a fully conscious individual nothing could be further from the truth. And therein lies part of the secret and healing power of spiritual partnerships.
Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership
“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of Time is an Illusion and Ecstasy is a New Frequency
REWIRING THE SOUL
For more about understanding the path towards life meaning and the inner quest, also have a look at my earlier book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or Kindle).
To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here
From the Description on Amazon: Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.
Reviews From the Back Cover:
A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom & joy but illuminates the way to true human potential. Dr. Kortsch is a spiritual master for our time. Paul Rademacher, Executive Director, The Monroe Institute; author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe
"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre
My new book: The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, is due out later this year. Here is a brief excerpt from the Introduction:
It is your right to live a life of love. It is your right to understand that loving yourself first is not a selfish way of behavior, but one that allows you to live that life of love. However, it's highly probable that you never got the instruction manual explaining exactly how to accomplish this. Possibly your family - and it may have been a loving family - considered loving the self an act of selfishness. Or perhaps the members of your family simply didn't practice loving the self, and of course, what you didn't see - what was not shown to you - while you were growing up, meant that you just didn't learn how to apply it to yourself. The closer you are able to move towards loving yourself, the closer you will be to living a life of love - quite independently of whether you are in a love relationship or not. A life of love can be lived with or without a partnership, because a life of love implies that you know that it all begins with you by loving the self. The more clearly you understand how to love yourself, the more clearly you will see that it is very hard - if not impossible - to love others in ways that are unrelated to fulfilling any of your needs. Loving yourself first is - for so many of us - one of the hardest things we will ever learn how to do. But know this: the benefits affect you in every particle of your being - body, mind, and soul - and are greater than you will ever be able to imagine.
Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my other book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.