How thoughts grow
What we think about, dwell on or focus on will grow in our minds. A minor irritation can turn into a huge source of stress if we think about it enough. When a thought appears, we can either dismiss it or we can focus on it and make it grow. If you disregard the thought, it’s over, you let it go and move on. If you focus on it, it grows and further fears and crazy thoughts can enter in as well.
Thoughts lead to emotions and soon we are angry, sad or frustrated. We have all heard the common story of arguments developing in marriages over the minor act of leaving the toothpaste lid off, and so it goes with our thoughts. It’s not the toothpaste lid that is the problem, it’s the perception or interpretation of the situation (thoughts) that creates the problem. Negative assumptions such as “I’ll bet my partner does this just to annoy me”, “I am sure someone else wouldn’t behave this way” etc – leads to catastrophizing. This process causes stress. Dwelling on stressful thoughts makes you less effective at communicating your needs to others as well.
When we are stressed we think less clearly and we may be more aggressive in our attitude which makes others defensive. Thinking about why we feel bad actually lowers our mood rather than enhancing it. Our thinking creates our moods, we are the thinker of these thoughts. It is up to us to dismiss ‘useless’ thoughts. We don’t need to dwell on upsetting thoughts.
You don’t need to do anything with upsetting thoughts – just let them go.