One of my best friends gave me some really sound, straight up advice this week: “STOP THINKING!!! THINKING IS THE DEVIL!!!”
Now, before you get me wrong, I don’t mean all thinking is bad. I’m talking about the kind of way-inside-your-own-head thinking. The negative kind. The negative voice inside you that doubts, worries, freaks out or gets anxious for reasons that are 100% self imposed and 99% unnecessary. And I say 99% because, maybe for you, that 1% of inner strive keeps you from getting too cocky, or rather, complacent, with your current self. It’s the negative kind of thinking that makes you feel like a prisoner in your own head.
I am a very emotionally charged person- I feel what I feel- and it’s rarely felt lightly. I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, I’m glad that I’m much more in-tune with my emotions than I used to be. I will admit that my emotions aren’t always a reflection of purely rational thoughts or unbiased thinking, but I will say that in the past two years since graduation I have taken a lot of time to reflect on the why of my feelings and opinions. Also, a good thing.
The bad of all this is that I have a tendency- or rather an impulse- to propagate negativity over positivity at times because I fixate on things I don’t like, things that I have trouble coming to terms with. That trouble is admittedly caused by my refusal to let go. It’s not a matter of can I- but rather of will I. It happens too darn often. I’m learning more and more that balance is so crucial in life. For me, too frequently I live through my emotions and feelings, not enough through rational thinking. So if Chelsea’s not feelin’ it one day, she goes the complete opposite direction on a matter, and feels super sh*tty about it instead. Because at least that’s feeling something. Cue the fixating, obsessing, mental tossing and turning, over analyzing and over thinking. Of course, this isn’t something unique to me, it’s something most people do.
But how do these endless cycles of negativity start? And why is it so hard to just stop them? This is not ryde or die: emotions edition! They begin from within yourself. These cycles start with poisonous, self-imposed negative seedlings of thoughts, that then grow and grow, thanks to your own fixating. Those critical thoughts about yourself can only grow in to even bigger issues when you feed them- aka don’t feed the beast! You have the power within yourself to shut it down.
Shutting down thoughts that I know are no good, made up, over critical and irrational is a hard thing to do sometimes, especially when I’m feeling insecure or doubtful. It’s really tough. But my point is, your brain will probably destroy you if you don’t control it. I’m sure as hell going to say that if I don’t actively control the types of thoughts I choose to let in, dwell on and pick a part, I will ruin myself slowly over time. Or at the very least, ruin the amazing time I could be having living in the moment. Be the boss of your mind and protect yourself from the unnecessary strife caused by letting your mind run the show.
It’s when you cling on for dear life to these toxic thoughts, that they become issues. The kind of issues that push you to compare, trip over things that others probably didn’t even notice and make you feel weird and uneasy over something that could have been just left alone and forgotten. For the best. Why? Because it wasn’t a thought worth giving your precious energy and attention to.
How do move forward when you feel the impulse to cling on to a thought? What helps you stay positive and present?