How Stop Negative Thoughts: A Systematic Approach

Happiness Experience #2: Live without Worry & Stress

Welcome to the second part of our series on overcoming negative thoughts, presented by Happiness Mountain. Building on the foundation of identifying your negative thoughts in the first part, this segment dives deeper into practical strategies for managing and transforming these challenges into opportunities for growth. If you're new to our series or need a refresher on recognizing negative thoughts, we recommend starting with the first part available here.

Now, let's explore our systematic approach to dispelling negative thoughts, offering both audio guidance and written content to suit your preference. Embark on this transformative journey with us, and harness the tools to cultivate a more positive, resilient mindset.

How to Stop Negative Thoughts
Chapter 14 (10.13 min)
10:12
 

Approach: How to Spot and Stop Negative Thoughts

When I was working in the corporate office environment, concrete steps were established for troubleshooting the more common problems. In banking, this outlines the process for troubleshooting a customer problem when there is a system error in a customer’s bank transfer:

 Listen to the customer and record the issue

 Investigate where the issue is

 Find the root cause

 Fix the problem

 Test that the error is genuinely resolved

 Monitor and make sure it does not happen again

 Update the customer and apologize for the error

 Close the issue

 

As you can see, the troubleshooting process is well structured. In comparison, here is how I typically used to deal with anger at someone:

 I did not acknowledge the anger issue

 I blamed the other person

 I worried about it for many days

 The conflict was never fully resolved

 When another incident occurred, I would get angry again

 The cycle repeated

 

As you can probably guess, this reactive behavior pattern led to many personal issues. I was constantly coming up against the same problems in dealing with my anger and never actually resolving them.

I asked: Why not apply a systematic approach to troubleshooting worries? Worries occur from your negative energy. I developed a troubleshooting model to manage my worries, much like the troubleshooting system at the bank. I could now approach each obstacle with ease and grace. Once you establish a system, you do not have to overthink. Just follow the steps and you get the benefits.

Computer vs. Human Mind

I love to compare our minds to computers; computers are a manifestation of humans and parallel our thinking in several ways. When you purchase a new computer, there is a processor, SSD drive, graphics card, operating system, programs, etc. However, installing a reliable virus scanner is left up to the user.

Viruses in our computers can take on many forms, potentially damaging them, including affecting the hardware. A virus can cause the computer to malfunction.

I find this to be the same when looking at our minds. Think of your mind as a computer—you have a processor that I relate to your decision-making power. You are born with a unique human operating system of love, compassion, kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, patience, etc. In addition, there are many programs running at the same time, like your work, cooking dinner, going to the gym, or spending time with a loved one. The programs are your thoughts.

What if a virus were to come along and interfere with these programs, interrupting the flow and hindering you from being the best person you can be? Thought Bugs are much like computer viruses, and can affect your mind.

Thought Bugs can destroy the foundation of your greatness. The majority of people in the world suffer from negative energy created by their minds. This energy created by Thought Bugs will block your potential to lead a happy and fulfilling life. If you do not take control of your Thought Bugs, your mind will suffer from them for your whole life.

Thought Bugs Defeating System

Consider the “Thought Bugs Defeating System” as your virus scanner for negative thoughts. Unlike millions of computer viruses, you have to master how to clean only eight Thought Bugs. Imagine how beautiful your life will be when the following negative thoughts do not make you suffer:

 Anger: Anger Thought Bug

 Worry: Worry Thought Bug

 Expectations: Expectation Thought Bug

 Strong desires (cravings & obsessions): Craving Thought Bug

 Being judgmental: Judgmental Thought Bug

 Fear (caused by suspicion): Fear Thought Bug

 Self-limiting beliefs: Self-Limiting Thought Bug

 Procrastination: Do-it-Later Thought Bug

Now let’s go over the three steps to overcoming negative thoughts:

 Step 1: Spot the bug

 Step 2: Stop the bug

 Step 3: Assess, and complete

Step 1: Spot the Bug

My brother was one of the beta readers of this book. By reading it, he understood that Thought Bugs are an essential concern to address. Rather than dealing with them daily, he realized that he wanted to address them directly.

Defeating Thought Bugs was the turning point in my life - Chanaka.

Chanaka was able to find peace and increase happiness within his family tremendously by understanding and defeating Thought Bugs.

Step 2: Stop the Bug

Power-Ups help you to stop the negative energy arising from Thought Bugs. You can use all eight Power-Ups and see which works for your situation. There are recommended Power-Ups for each Thought Bug as your starting point.

Step 3: Assess and Complete

In this step, you look deeper into your Thought Bugs and understand why they occur. The intention of this step is to stop the same Thought Bug from reoccurring in the future by proper root-cause analysis. Having a good understanding of why the Thought Bug was triggered and completing the root-cause analysis will help you to prevent them coming back again.

 

Prioritize the Top Three

You most likely have a few primary negative thought patterns, which I recommend focusing on first. My top three were the Cravings Thought Bug, the Expectations Thought Bug, and the Do-it-Later Thought Bug. My brother defeated his Anger Thought Bug first, and he also realized that his Expectation Thought Bug was causing the anger. So, he defeated both together. Usually, Thought Bugs come as packages consisting of one to three negative thought patterns. Here are a few examples:

 Expectation, Judgmental, and Anger Thought Bug package: Someone does not meet your expectations, so you start judging them and your anger joins in.

 Do-it-Later and Worry Thought Bug package: You procrastinate and then worry about the negative results.

 Craving and Worry Thought Bug package: You fulfill a strong desire and then become worried about what you did.

 Fear and Worry Thought Bug package: You feel uncertain of your future, causing fear, and then worry about a future that has not happened.

 Self-Limiting and Anger Thought Bug package: Childhood trauma triggers you, and you get angry and do not trust people, which prevents your ability to build strong relationships.

 Self-Limiting and Worry Thought Bug package: Your mind says, “I am not good enough,” and you cannot do what you want to. You may live your whole life trapped in this negative pattern.

 

Now it is your turn to write your top negative thought patterns and related Thought Bugs. Try to catch one to three predominant Thought Bugs for two weeks. Set your mind to do this as a fourteen-day bug-defeating challenge. By doing fourteen days straight, you reprogram your mind to defeat them. Once reprogrammed, it will become a habit and you will not have to put in the extra effort, as you do now. After that, catching Thought Bugs becomes second nature.

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