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Stan Islavski

Looking For Some Thoughts

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I'm hoping someone out there might have some thoughts that will turn on a light bulb or two.

 

One of the biggest issues I'm facing right now are negative thoughts. They consume me every minute I am alone and have nothing else to occupy my brain. These thoughts are all replays of times when I felt wronged in some form. It may have happened last week, or last year, or even twenty years ago. Many times these thoughts turn into violent thoughts. It is nothing I'm going to act on. It's just very disturbing. For example, I got into a disagreement with a friend several years ago and we've parted. I felt he was very unreasonable at the time, and so I replay the conversation in my head different ways... and also what I might say to him if I saw him again. But he's very stubborn and narrow-minded. So the replay in my head turns into a physical altercation - feeling like that's the only way to make him listen to me.

 

The other day it got so bad that I felt "possessed". I just couldn't kick the thoughts out of my brain and it seemed like I was being controlled by them. That was pretty much the tipping point.

 

Simply put, I'm not at peace. My brain's negativity bias is on turbo and I see nothing at all good about my life. I've been to several traditional therapists and also a life coach. Some were more useful than others. And we've tried different things to kick the negativity (including some CBT and mindfulness). But I just feel it's getting worse.

 

In addition, my immune system is out of wack. In the last few months I've acquired some ailments that I never have before... along with 2 autoimmune diseases. There could certainly be some other factors, but I blame a large portion on the stress, negativity, and hatefulness that consumes me.

 

Last night I thought about joining a Buddhist Temple - thinking that practicing zazen might get me going in the right direction. But I read that while zazen may provide some benefits, it will likely not be the lifestyle change that will reverse depression and anxiety. Perhaps that was just a "disclaimer" since they are not licensed therapists... but it wasn't very encouraging. 

 

Anyway... I'm open to thoughts. Thanks for reading. :)

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Hello Stan,

I have the same problem for many years - negative thoughts and paralyzing ruminations.
I keep a small diary in Evernote about my problems and possible solutions.
Following is extracted from it. Hope it would be helpful for you.

"me unfairly. All my energy was drained, felt depressed and paralyzed.
What can I do to tuckle this? Possible solution I can think of:

Focus on positives. Not negatives.

Focus on what you have. Not on what you don't have.

Focus on what you can do.Not on what you can't.

Focus on your achievements (even though they might be small and trivial) rather than failures.

Focus your mind on good people. Not on bad people.

Do moderate exercise regularly.

Remember ruminating over failures and people's wickedness & cruelty will paralyze you. You will learn helplessness leading to more depression and more failures."

Ps
Check out the song "Chant of Metta" by Imee Ooi on YouTube. It is in Malay language. But English subtitle version available.

Edited by dolphin2015

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In my experience - negative thoughts are what they are.  Thoughts, if I choose to act on them then it is my choice.  I have learned to take my negative thoughts and turn them into positive or neutral thoughts:  What did I learn?  What effect did that situation have on me? Deep breathing helps me. 

 

What was your experience like with the Life Coach?

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It's hard to focus on "good things"  when life throws such adversity at you.  You can have a bias towards negativity simply by having bad events happen upon you one after another.  After awhile it can become more and more difficult to see the good out there.  It could be said that kind of inclination towards negativity forces you to wear blinders until all you see is "the bad."  It's a vicious cycle.

So It's good that you are trying to find an outlet through things like "practicing zazen". Though When you state,

"...it will likely not be the lifestyle change that will reverse depression and anxiety..."

I have retort that nothing is a life is a guarantee. You can only get as much as you put into it. That's a general statement. By that I mean, I don't think bad things will ever stop happening nor is there anything you can do to stop them. It's causality. All we can do is minimize and balance out what happens to us. I think half the bad we encounter in our lives can be made better/worst simply by the way we handle it.

I maybe off base but I just wanted to put that out there that it's all just a matter of perspective. I am sorry to hear of your medical ailments and if anyone deserves to be angry it's you. It's not fair. Even so, it's admirable that you are trying to do what you can to improves yourself.

I hope that you find some peace of mind.

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What was your experience like with the Life Coach?

I haven't seen her I a while but It's been a good experience. It hasn't been an uber enlightening experience. But I've seen 8 traditional therapists/psychs (that I can remember) and the life coach has provided more insight and homework in a few months than all of my therapists put together. But she also has a clinical background. So that probably fit well with me. Just like anything though, I'm sure there are some that aren't very insightful.

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