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How to Edit Your Thoughts and Emotions

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Your life is a ‘positive work-in-progress’. ~ Z

At a recent seminar, a member of the audience asked me, “What do I do with my painful thoughts of the past. They either lead me to destructive anger or to depression. How do I stop them?” We cannot stop our thoughts in a vacuum. Thoughts can be replaced by cultivating other thoughts; destructive thoughts with constructive ones, negative ones with corresponding positive ones. Here are some of the strategies that one can employ to achieve a positive personality through cultivating desirable thoughts.

1. Develop a blueprint for your life. No architect undertakes to build an edifice without drawing the finest details on a blueprint, and then keeps checking whether the construction is going according to the plans drawn earlier. So it is with our life. Very early in life we should be taught to develop a clear idea of the kind of personality we wish to acquire. Consequently, we should keep checking whether we are true to that ideal or not. One writer recalls that between the ages of 13 and 16 he read the life stories of 400 great men of all religions and nations in order to consciously arrive at a design for his personality and for life. Then, at age 16, he undertook a three-day solitude, silence and fast, to finalize his life’s plans.

Even if we fail to strictly and completely adhere to such an ideal, we may remain conscious of our digressions. This awareness will bring us back to the main track.

2. Edit your life story with an expert refinement. We learn to check our thoughts, feelings, emotions, words, tones, and actions against the ideal we have set for ourself. Each time we fail, we dont condemn ourself. It is like an author refining his book, a poet improving his masterpiece, a painter altering a shade of color – if our paint color slipped for a moment, we simply repaint again, with confidence that we are improving it. Life is one complete story being written, and constantly being edited. Edit your thoughts as you edit your essays, novels, poems, paintings, and musical compositions. Edit your life story with an expert refinement.

3. Constant Contemplation. Contemplation is the best tool for improving one’s thought patterns, replacing dark ones with brighter ones. Contemplation consists of selecting an ideal or value and pondering over it, refuting its opposites and generating logic to support it. Thus one arrives at certain conclusions, or strengthens previously held conclusions. These then serve as guides when one stands at any kind of crossroads.

4. Mindfulness is the natural outcome of such a process of contemplation.
Mindfulness is of two kinds: {a} Mindfulness of one’s thoughts, words and actions {b} Mindfulness of breathing and other voluntary and involuntary natural processes. The two should be practiced together.
In the first kind of mindfulness, there is constant awareness of each thought arising; each word about to be spoken, or just uttered, and its tone; each action large or small. We continuously assesses how close we have been to our ideal and how to correct failures. We also evaluate the effect our actions have on another person – was it constructive, beneficial, granting delight or peace or was it the opposite? In case it is the opposite, how may we make amends in a way to grant delight and peace?
In the second kind of mindfulness, there is constant awareness of natural processes like breathing. It starts with the practices undertaken during the meditation hour. But after some period of diligent effort that becomes our natural consciousness.

How to Love?

Along with these general practices we can apply all kinds of strategies. One young lady in extreme mental anguish and pain said to me, “You speak of love but I have experienced no love in my life. I do not know what this ‘love’ is like. How can I love?” It was painful for me even to watch her in such mental anguish. In such extreme cases I have found that this principle holds true: if you are feeling deprived of love, learn to give love and a space within you will be filled. Slowly, often very painfully slowly, the mental habit will change and anguish will give way to an unspoken satisfaction. Others will notice how your personality has changed; how lovable you have become. I advised the anguished young lady, “Each day, secretly, with a vow never to utter a word about it, sneak a flower – or even a tiny petal – at a stranger’s doorstep. Make sure that you are not seen doing so. Expecting no results whatsoever, keep doing so each night.” I saw a smile sneak onto her lips.

This was my advice to the person in the seminar: “Create a pleasant and satisfying goal in your life. Every time a painful thought from the past arises in your mind, look to the future you have set for yourself. Is this thought conducive to creating that future? If not, just dwell on the pleasantness of future successes and slowly everything self-destructive and self-deprecatory will vanish.”

An accomplished spirit dwells in this type of consciousness at all hours of day and night. There is nothing in any of her sentiments, thoughts, sensations, words, tones and gestures of which she is not conscious. Thus does she dwell in a state of contentment.

Such a being chooses to dwell in the world of everyone’s pain, unceasingly engaged in soothing them, yet, having no pains of her own.

To reduce and finally totally eliminate your pains, choose this path and your mind will again become a playground of happiness and enlightenment.

How do you handle and edit painful thoughts and emotions? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay tuned for a FREE giveaway this Friday!! :) Thank you for reading!

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
~Zeenat~
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath


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Author: Zeenat {PositiveProvocations.com}

Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor/Motivational Speaker/Naturopath/Holistic Healer/Writer

13 thoughts on “How to Edit Your Thoughts and Emotions

  1. thanks for an uplifting and inspiring blog! I need the positivity this morning. Thanks for making a difference!

  2. Zeenat, thanks for the beautiful in-depth article. Life as a story and a work of art is such a great metaphor and way to view our lives. I’m working on increasing my mindfulness and meditation by a little bit each day: once I’m plugged in to Life, a lot of other “pressing” thoughts, feelings, and attitudes fall away.

  3. Zeenat,
    This is an excellent metaphor. I’ve been working on editing negative thoughts form a traumatic past for many years now. It’s becoming easier to do so but those “tapes” from childhood do start playing when I am stressed out and/or fearful. Provided I am aware that I am experiencing fear and do commence my breathing practice and become mindful the new messages I have imprinted dominate, and the negative ones float away like ghosts into the mist.
    Love and peace,
    TiTi

  4. I like the way Brian Tracy explains this, the mind can only hold either a positive thought or a negative thought.
    It cannot both think positive or negative thoughts at the same time.

    It can switch between them very fast.
    If you force your mind to stay on the positive as much as possible you will therefore have less negative thoughts.

  5. Hi Zeenat,

    It’s true that the best way to deal with negative thoughts is to replace them with positive ones. Life is really about the way we choose to perceive things. If a certain perception is causing us pain or negativity, it would be better to change this perception into something more positive.

    I love the strategies that you have outlined to achieve change our thinking. In particular, I think that it is very important to develop a blueprint for our lives. Without clarity of what we want or how something should be, it is easy to get lost groping about in the dark. But with clarity comes focus. We know what we want, where we are going and how to get there. It is just a matter of adapting and learning from mistakes along the way.

    Personally, I like to channel my energy into constructive uses instead of just brooding. Since either approach uses energy, I prefer to focus on solutions to my pain or problem. Usually when I resolve the root cause, there is no more reason for me to feel the pain and it just goes away. The solution might be looking at the lessons to learn from my mistakes or finding a way to deal with a matter or just changing the way I perceive events and deciding what to do next. If I do not allow room for my pain to grow, it will die off eventually.

    Thank you for sharing this important article on dealing with pain! :)

    Irving the Vizier

  6. This is a fantastic blueprint for working with troublesome thoughts and emotions. I found this especially inspiring:

    “An accomplished spirit dwells in this type of consciousness at all hours of day and night. There is nothing in any of her sentiments, thoughts, sensations, words, tones and gestures of which she is not conscious. Thus does she dwell in a state of contentment.”

    What a beautiful aspiration for all of us!

  7. ” 3. Constant Contemplation. Contemplation is the best tool for improving one’s thought patterns, replacing dark ones with brighter ones. Contemplation consists of selecting an ideal or value and pondering over it, refuting its opposites and generating logic to support it. Thus one arrives at certain conclusions, or strengthens previously held conclusions. These then serve as guides when one stands at any kind of crossroads.”

    What a fantastic paragraph. Contemplation, we just must make sure we contemplate the right idea. Think good thoughts is what I say! Think Good THOUGHTS!

  8. Hi Zeenat,

    There are two thoughts that were especially meaningful to me in this post.

    #1 “Edit your thoughts as you edit your essays, novels, poems, paintings, and musical compositions. Edit your life story with an expert refinement.

    #2 ““Create a pleasant and satisfying goal in your life. Every time a painful thought from the past arises in your mind, look to the future you have set for yourself. Is this thought conducive to creating that future? If not, just dwell on the pleasantness of future successes and slowly everything self-destructive and self-deprecatory will vanish.”

    Editing my thoughts as I edit my paintings is to stand away from my easel, back up and really look at the painting. Sometimes there is a great deal left to do and sometimes not.

    This is my view of the story of my life. When I look back, with the intention of editing what I can change, usually I see many places that could be fined.

    The past for me, as with almost anyone, is sometimes dark and painful, but I’ve learned to set goals and to look to the future more than to the past now. Yes, at times the hurt seeps back to the top but I deal with it and keep an eye on goals that are very important for me to accomplish.

    Thank you for a great post.

  9. Hello Lady Z!

    2. Edit your life story with an expert refinement.

    Isn’t it a wonderful gift that we as humans can for the most part at any point in our lives refine, change, edit, make greater, or make smaller aspects of our life stories. That right now in this moment I can contemplate an event, an action by myself, another, or many others, and then direct my attentioned focus on how it may work for the better or worse in this life. That I can *choose* to go forward the same, or differently.

    When we work to create a masterpiece of our lives it benefits and reflects to others, the world, and universal all but genuine love.

    At this point in my life I can look back on all the love I have experienced…I am blessed.

    I am blessed that I have loved and received love back.

    I am blessed that I have loved and not received love back.

    I am blessed that I have loved the natural world.

    I am blessed that I have loved the spiritual world.

    I am blessed that I have loved the universe.

    I am blessed that I have a place in my heart for God.

    I am blessed that God loves me.

    I am blessed that God loves all.

    ” if you are feeling deprived of love, learn to give love and a space within you will be filled.”

    Zeenat…I appreciate the suggestion of leaving a flower on a doorstep. The actual physical *action* of expressing *love* while embracing the *action* in your heart has limitless positive possibilities. One may not actually receive love back, but one’s heart has grown. At that doorstep a flower has been layed upon and a step up has been taken.

    At this point in my life I can say that there is not *ONE* significant person in my life that I share a deep love with.

    I can say though that there are *MANY* significant people in my life that I love.

    I can say that I love both in action and words.

    I look forward to the rest of my life…

    This song is very right for this post:

    Thanks and much love Zeenat!

  10. …I can also say that in the past, present, and until my death I have, do, and will keep space in my heart for *MANY* in-significant people.

  11. Thank you ALL for your beautiful thoughts and comments on this article.
    I’m spending a few days offline, cause we are going through a major shift as a family…and all my energy is required there. I hope you guys understand.
    Please know i loved each and every comment here. I have read your thoughts…and I’m planning big things in the background in between my major shift..plans which will include each and every one of you. Be prepared :) Lots of big bangs coming up soon here.
    If you want to get in touch with me personally dont hesitate to email…I’ll respond asap!
    Lots of love,
    Z~

  12. Pingback: Ten Inspirational Personal Development Blogs

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