Imagine a situation in which you feel tense and nervous because of the situation at work. You feel pressure in your chest, it buzzes in your ears, and you feel like you are not there, as if you are isolated from everything without control.
Do you know that feeling?
Now think about what will happen if you continue to spin in such a circle of thoughts and emotions. For example, repeating over and over again:
“I’m not a good person” or “Nobody likes me.”
If you nurture such thoughts, do you think that things will change for you and that you will improve the quality of your life?
What to do, then?
To start, inhale deeply and then exhale. Sometimes, we feel anxious, sad, desperate, and do not see a solution. It has happened to everyone at least once to feel this way.
That is why we will show you how to focus and attract what you want. You can use the tips when you are anxious or sad, but also exercise in everyday life.
In this article, you will read about:
Why is it hard to stop thinking about unpleasant things?
Try this little experiment: Sit down, relax, and try not to think about the white bear. Stop thinking about him now!
It’s not that simple, isn’t it?
Imagine now that it is not a white bear but:
“I feel terrible because I made a mistake at work.”
“I didn’t talk to John today. He certainly doesn’t love me anymore.”
“My house is on fire because I didn’t turn off the iron.”
Only then is it not easy to interrupt such a flow of thought. So, the more we try not to think about it, the more we force our brain to process exactly that information.
We burn our amygdala which sends signals that something is wrong, so we feel tense and scared. That’s how we fall into the vicious circle.
The good news is that we don’t have to be constantly in a circle. We know that doesn’t help when we try not to think about something by force, and even less when someone tells us not to think about it. But some things can help.
For example, we can think of something else. Instead of focusing on not thinking about the burning house, we can say, “OK, but let’s try to concentrate as much as I can on what I’m doing now.”
Also, one of the most effective methods is to expose ourselves to these thoughts. Thoughts are thoughts. It’s important to accept and realize them as just thoughts that come and go.
These thoughts don’t define us as people and are mostly unrelated to reality. This is a painful process, but it is healing.
Why is it important to choose what you focus on?
Now we understand why it’s hard for us to stop thinking about everything that makes us anxious. So, it’s time to find out why it is important to focus on what we want to achieve and how to do it.
Have you ever heard the old Indian story about the two wolves in us?
The story goes like this: an old Indian and his young grandson once sat in front of a wigwam.
Grandpa tried to pass on as much wisdom and knowledge as possible to the little one and thus equip him for the life before him. That’s why he told him this story.
– There is a constant battle going on in every man. That is because two wolves live in us – the wise Indian began.
– How are the two wolves? The little one asked.
– One is mean! These are fear, anger, envy, resentment, false pride, greed, ego, sadness, arrogance, self-pity, and guilt. But there is also a good wolf! These are joy, stability, love, hope, kindness, compassion, generosity, truth, and faith – the Indian taught.
– And… Which wolf wins? – the grandson asked.
– The one you feed more. – said the wise grandfather.
So, how does the process behind “what you choose to focus on will grow” work?
We can’t categorize emotions, and thoughts cannot be split into two categories: good or bad (positive or negative).
But, this story tells us that what we think about, what we direct our attention to, and spend our energy on grows.
If you try to calm down in moments of anxiety by accepting and focusing on breathing, you are feeding your psychological flexibility and ability to cope with stress. In this way, you achieve peace.
Also, if you focus on love, gratitude, dear people, hobbies, and activities that you love – there is a great chance that you will grow in that field more and more.
There is no special magic, strange energy, or the law. Only our focus on which we select what we want to dedicate ourselves to and what we don’t.
What happens when hard days, unpleasant thoughts, and emotions come?
Unpleasant emotions are an essential part of life. They play a significant role, and we should not ignore them. Sadness, anger, rage, disgust, and other emotions show us that something is wrong.
They show us that something is happening and that we should dedicate ourselves to it.
Focusing on the things we want to grow doesn’t mean ignoring and denying other emotions. The key is to accept all emotions and focusing on what we want.
So, choose what fulfills you and dedicate yourself to it. Breathe, be present, do what you love – cook, clean, read, sing, play, breathe with full lungs.
Every day, choose to focus on those things you want more of in your life. Watch how they grow and how anxiety and tension stay small.