Combat negative thoughts causes turn our attention towards them, increasing their importance. And if the origin and persistence of our problems and illnesses were linked to this? We propose a solution: the bus metaphor. We are often attacked by negative thoughts like, “I should not buy an apartment with so high a mortgage”, “I lost time studying something that I do not need”, “Do not find anyone like him / her”, “I should be more including / a, have been / a too rigid / a “or” I feel bad when I told you yesterday. ” Fight negative thoughts, giving them a straight, is like advertising them: we feed them, as a result our discomfort and anxiety increase, i.e. leave them to grow within us. If anyone is left from / the partners, you may start to think that will not meet anyone as the person who had until then next, then stop going out or go in search of adventure, perhaps to avoid feeling alone / a. Still, if we believe that an examination is difficult and that do not overcome or a job interview will be difficult, we will invent a lot of excuses to spend less time objective and feel more relaxed. The curious thing is that you should not experience anything particularly serious for brooding on the incident and because the negative thoughts become a way of life that influences our decisions.

How to deal with negative thoughts?

Faced with a negative thought, or we face, as we have seen, trying to rationalize it, to turn it into a positive by expressing what you want, or you leave it alone, without trying to control it, or you look at what you have or you want to do. Everyone chooses the option that he / she agrees, without forgetting that the main goal of choice is the well-being and personal growth. Faced with three options, the first two are those from which benefit more, because they lead to what one really wants, in the first case the language from negative becomes positive, in the second you do not pay attention to negative thinking. To better understand what we’re talking about, we introduce the bus metaphor and passengers, which will allow us to observe how the negative emotions or negative thoughts can take control and change our plans, directions, roads and even make us stop.

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The bus metaphor and passengers

“Imagine you are the driver of a bus carrying many passengers. Passengers are thoughts, feelings, memories, and all things pertaining to human life. You are driving a bus with a single door to climb, just to climb. While driving, some passengers begin to threaten you by telling you what you need to do, where to go, turn right, go faster, etc., you insult and discourage you, you are bad drivers, you are failures, no one loves you. You feel bad and do everything you ask them to be quiet because they go in the back of the bus for a while and will be guided in peace. But one day, you get tired of passengers threats and want to drive them off the bus, but you cannot, then addressed them and discuss with them. Without realizing, the first thing you did was stop, you have stopped driving and you’re not going anywhere. Passengers are very strong, resist and you cannot get them off the bus. Resign yourself, go back to your seat, started to drive to where you order to go to make them stop.

In this way, to avoid being annoyed and feel bad started to do all that they order the passengers and drive the bus towards the direction that indicates you not to argue with them and not see them. Do what you order, and you do it every time faster, hoping to throw them out of your life. Soon, without realizing it, the passengers will not even say “Turn left” because you turn to the left, avoiding threats. So, without wasting too much time, you’ll begin to justify decisions as if you believed that they are no longer on the bus, convincing you that you are driving the bus towards the only possible direction. The power of these passengers is lowered to threats like “If you do not do what we tell you, we will appear and will force you to look at us and you will feel bad.” But that’s all they can do.

It is true that when they appear these passengers very negative thoughts and feelings, they seem to damage, so accepted the way they treat you and do what you say because you leave and go quietly in the bus down. Trying to maintain control over passengers, in fact, you have lost direction as the bus! They do not turn the steering wheel, do not crush the accelerator or brake, do not decide where to stop. The drivers you are. There will always be a noise background, but you can decide where to look, what to listen to and if this noise is a major presence, and you just accept it.

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Donn Schlosser