THE Relationship Blog
The purpose of Relaxation Thursdays is to create some healthy habits to keep you calm and relaxed. One of the most insidious habits we have is negative self talk. We create a certain tape in our head that we run on an endless loop. The tape contains such oldies but goodies as, ‘It’s never going to work out’, and who can forget, ‘It’s too good to be true!’ That Inner Nazi has something to say about everything and everyone. The negativity that we generate comes from this very small space in our mind that has convinced us that the most we can hope for in life is to be content for a moment. Anything else is greedy and impossible.
Quieting your Inner Nazi?
Last week we brought up positive self talk to counter the negativity. This week we will work on two Self Talk techniques that work wonders:
1. Thought Stopping
Most of our negative thoughts are irrational. They are not based in reality however we believe them to be relevant. These thoughts are conflagrations of real life experiences filtered through our low opinions of ourselves. Why would someone like me have something so wonderful?
Thought stopping is exactly what it sounds like. Whenever these irrational or negative thoughts come into your head, say STOP! Whenever you begin to have thoughts about failing, being doomed or the worst will happen, say STOP!
This method is easy and can be done at any time with little coaching.
Thought stopping is easy to do but sometimes it leaves your mind with nothing to do. You know what they say, ‘An idle mind is the Devils workshop’. True, the saying refers to hands but the mind is a lot easier to overrun with negativity than your hands.
The technique that changed my life many years ago is the repetition of a mantra. A mantra can be anything. In my case, I chose a Hindu mantra but you can choose whatever works for you. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit words ‘man’ which means ‘to think’ and ‘tra’ which means ‘tools’. This thinking tool can rewrite the negative scripts in your head if used consistently. For Hindu’s, the mantra consists of repeating the name of God. Each name of God in the Hindu faith describes a different aspect of God and not, necessarily, a completely different entity. For example, Ghandi was known for repeating Rama. In fact, he died repeating the name of God.
According to Eknath Easwaren, a great spiritual teacher and the author of several books on the subject, any name of God can be repeated as long as the emotional resonance is there. In other words, repeating the name ‘Jesus’ works great if that name resonates with you.
To create the energy that is needed to be able to use mantra as an effective relaxation technique, you need to get into the practice of repeating your mantra on a daily basis. When we pair mantra with breathing techniques then you start creating an anchor in your consciousness. Eastern faiths recommend repeating your mantra to japa, which is a spiritual discipline. Catholics may use rosary beads but it is a japa just the same. Getting into the habit of repeating your mantra will energize the words where they are anchored in your sub conscience as a source of peace.
If you try both techniques together, the results are a mind free of negativity!