By | Eric Barker | www.theladders.com
A lot of the time you know what the smart thing to do is. But you’re still worried about how it might turn out. Or regrets about a past decision are making you overthink things.
Your brain is telling you all kinds of negative stories about how stuff might go wrong and you end up more focused on alleviating those concerns than making choices based on your values.
So you play it too safe. Or you get reckless and swing for the fences. Or you’re paralyzed and procrastinate. But there’s a way out of this loop. Cue the trumpets:
Mindfulness. That thing everybody these days thinks is so darn cool but nobody can tell you what it means.
Alright, quick definition for our purposes: awareness of your thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them.
(Yeah, I know, that clarifies nothing for you… yet. Well, gimme a second here. We’re just getting started, okay? Jeez.)
A lot of smart psychologists took mindfulness and science-tized it and created ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.) Let’s see how ACT can help you deal with your negative thoughts so you can make smarter decisions based on what’s really important to you.
Mindfulness to the rescue. (And, no, I’m not gonna make you meditate.)
Let’s get to it…
How to stop negative thoughts forever
You can’t. The end.
Seriously, you are so not in charge of your brain it’s not even funny. Go ahead and delete that memory of the time you embarrassed yourself in front of that cute person you liked in high school. Go ahead. Try.
Any luck? Didn’t think so. And the result of trying to suppress thoughts is even worse.