How to tell unwanted thoughts where to go

Don’t you just hate it when some thought creeps up on you, then – before you know it – seems to take over your whole life?

Fatima K. is a Moodnudges reader who recently told me about something like this that happened two years ago when she was dealing with the loss of a very close family member.

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She explained that she went through hell and almost started feeling numb as her brain showed her countless images of the person she’d lost, and both the nice things that had happened – and the terrible ones.

But here’s how Fatima said she approached this: “A lot of it is fuzzy now, but I’d read somewhere about ‘standing up’ to your mind/thoughts. So when my mind told me I was a terrible family member and that I hadn’t tried as much as I could have, I resulted to telling it to basically go suck it. Treating the thoughts as a nuisance to my life belittled them and gave me the courage to move on.”

What a great idea. Fatima defused the noisy inner voices by giving them a good talking to, sending them on their way.

How did this feel? Back to Fatima: “It’s important to note that when I ‘stood up’, it wasn’t a war between me and myself, it was more like a protest by me against the thoughts. Like standing up to a bully, no matter what they did to try and stop you.”

For Fatima, this was a real life-saver. I wonder if something similar could work for you?

Your thoughts don’t have to define who you are, or at least they needn’t if you don’t allow them to.

4 thoughts on “How to tell unwanted thoughts where to go

  1. In a similar way I learned a technique through Mindfulness meditation where I learned to ‘sit’ with thoughts that appeared and acknowledge they were there but to dismiss those that weren’t helping me.

  2. I followed sophrology, i learnt to also see bad thoughts and actually i tell them to go to hell. Its a choice between a miserable day and a great one….so i go for the great one. Its remarkably easy to do once you realise that you can treat your thoughts like naughty kids

  3. This is something I find very difficult. I try to just tell the negative thoughts to get lost but it doesn’t always work. Another thing I try is saying a Hail Mary prayer, I am a Catholic but I’m sure any other short prayer would work as well if your not. Or if you don’t have a faith, I’m told a quick word with the Universe works too.

  4. Hi I came across the same idea when a couple of years ago I was having the worst episode of depression ever. I was in the mental health unit of the hospital. At that particular time I felt I was up against the devil and the only way I coped with that was to imagine I was a ninja fighting this monster back. Yes I used a sword and karate kicks I fought a battle for days and eventually this situation reversed. I am a much stronger person these days and I bounce back much quicker. Thank you for listening to my story.

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