Unwanted thoughts have a habit of cropping up in our minds at regular intervals.
They’re annoying because they’ve arrived in your mind without being invited in.
Sometimes they can be one off thoughts, other times they keep cropping up and bugging you.
Check out these ways to remove unwanted thoughts from your mind. Fast.
Give it a time limit
But only for a minute or two.
Set a timer and think only about that unwanted thought while the timer counts down. Play around with it. explore it, give it room to resolve itself, whatever thoughts come into your mind.
When the timer goes off, stand up. And, if it’s appropriate, and you won’t get too many funny looks, shout out “Stop!”. A second option is to shout “Stop!” but only inside your head. Which works surprisingly well.
Take a deep breath
Often, unwanted thoughts upset us.
Taking a few deep breaths helps calm you down and get over the problem.
You can do this on your own or with an audio to help if this is a more regular occurrence than you’d like.
Take a long, deep breath. Fill your lungs without puffing them out or feeling a strain.
If you’re able to comfortably hold the breath in your lungs for a second or two, do that. But don’t worry if that’s not something you’re able to do.
Then take a long, slow, outbreath. Imagine the unwanted thought leaving your body, hitching a lift on the outbreath and harmlessly vanishing when they reach the outside world.
Repeat the process a few times until your unwanted thought has faded.
Release the thought
The Sedona Method has an easy way to do this.
You ask yourself three simple questions involving the thought or feeling you’re experiencing:
- Could I let the thought go? Answer yes or no. Either answer is correct – you’re just asking yourself if it could be possible to let the thought go or if you want to cling on to it for some reason that you don’t really know.
- Would I let the thought go? Again, answer yes or no. And, again, either answer is correct. You’re asking yourself if you’d be willing to let the thought go or if – for whatever reason – that’s not a possibility at the moment.
- When? This needs a time. Anything from immediately to never and all points in between. Any answer is correct and normally the first answer to pop into your mind is the most accurate.
Repeat those questions a few times – sometimes two or three times gets rid of the unwanted thought, sometimes it needs more encouragement, but it will go away.
Use the White Bear Solution
There’s a good chance you haven’t come across this idea – I know I hadn’t before I researched this page.
Often, when we do our best to supress a thought, it crops up more regularly.
So you try your best not to think of a white bear (makes a change from the tap dancing pink elephant I normally ask people not to think of when I’m explaining NLP saying our mind doesn’t process negatives) and – of course – the large, fluffy, creature pops into your mind.
The same happens with any thought you’re trying to supress.
The white bear solution is more complicated than I can go into here (sorry) but it involves a few relatively easy processes that you carry out to rid yourself of persistent unwanted thoughts.
If you’ve got some thoughts that refuse to go away, no matter what you do, then it’s a neat solution that you can explore further here.