Antidotes to Negative Thoughts
Do you ever feel like your own mind is bringing you down? In Jack Kornfield’s book The Wise Heart he suggests ways of dealing with the repetitive negative thoughts that can create unhealthy mind states. Here’s a summary of some points to remember:
Notice the repeating thoughts and mental patterns without judgment.
Create an antidote — a positive phrase or two that counteracts the recurrent thoughts.
When you notice negative thoughts, “take a breath and hold your pain with kindness. Then inwardly recite your phrases, firmly, deliberately.”
Keep repeating this as often as possible, and eventually you’ll see results.
It also helps me to write down anything helpful in the thoughts for future use, like ideas on positive actions to take or anything I can learn from them. If I know I’ve made note of what the thoughts are trying to tell me, it’s easier to let them go.
Here are a few examples of antidotes I created to my own negative thoughts. Some of these may resonate and be helpful to you, but it’s also a good idea to customize your own phrases.
I am always a good friend to myself, treating myself with kindness and compassion.
I set my intention every day to think, speak and act with loving kindness.
I am guided by Universal Love, and I send loving kindness out to all people around me. I rejoice in their happiness and I seek to bring more joy and positive experiences to myself and the world.
I give my gifts out to the world in the best way I know how, without attachment to results. Giving and sharing brings me joy.
When I see people acting from pain, anger or ignorance, I hold them in compassion, knowing they have not yet learned a better way. I know they are on their own path, and I send them loving kindness, asking that they be guided by Universal Love.
Every person has their own individual way of loving. This doesn’t mean their love for me is any less. There is enough love for all.
I am excited when I see people around me succeeding because I am reminded of all that’s possible. I rejoice for them, and seeing their success makes me more excited about life.
I enter each conversation with the intent to learn more about the other person, to share myself with them, and to connect with loving kindness.
I’m happier when I focus on my intention to connect with and serve others, rather than being attached to outcomes. I don’t need to take their response or lack of response personally.
I am always enough, regardless of the actions or judgments of other people. I hold myself in compassion, knowing I am perfectly imperfect, as we all are, and I’m doing the best I can. I haven’t yet learned a better way, and this is just one step in my life journey.
Every day I seek to live from my heart and from my highest intentions. At any moment I can reset my heart’s compass and aim for a higher intention.
For the moment, I release the need to change anything about my life that’s not absolutely necessary. I open myself to learning. I love myself through this adventure and open my heart to the deeper purpose of all experiences.