The trick is, to not let irrational thoughts become our reality~!
Humans have a habit of infusing a thought with overwhelming feelings, but we can also control those thoughts. Soon it becomes second nature - and we don't let our irrational thoughts ruin our day~!
Of course, our upset is usually triggered by, or based on a deep-seated fear or trauma that keeps coming up. We can say, "Hi Fear~! There you are again - I see you - but I choose NOT to respond."
We can also say:
"I choose to focus on a rational response. It might take time, but it will work ~!"
"I know that LOVE is the opposite of fear. Going into my heart, I feel the ever-flowing love that is ALWAYS there, both for myself, other people, and the natural world."
"I sink into my heart, a place of love, I embody that love and protection, and I choose NOT to let irrational thoughts ruin my day."
"I AM SAFE ~ I AM LOVE"
"I feel my true essence, and there is no place for irrational thoughts. "
There are enough dangers in the world, without needlessly creating more dangers that are essentially the work of our own imagination.
When irrational thoughts arise, I:
Don't add fuel to the fire with a bunch of worry, or "what if?"
Look the situation in the eye, and see there is no real danger.
Remember that it is good to have emotions and cycle through them every day, but the overwhelming fear or danger "fight or flight" response is NOT useful (unless you see a bear), and it is probably an insult to your own integrity.
Switch to the other quadrants on the circle of self.
"Feed all four ~ go into each room every day."
I put my mind to work on a creative or technical problem - online chess, graphic design, writing a novel, or whatever requires immediate cognitive engagement.
I spend time in the physical by feeling and focusing on each part of my body - toes, ankles, knees, hips, solar plexis, shoulders, arms etc. with my FULL attention; play sports; walk while chanting a mantra over and over (i.e. "I love the world and the world loves me"); sing; have a soaky bath or sex.
I seek the spiritual by experiencing the wonders of nature; thinking about the immensity of the universe; or wondering about the mysteries of life. I shift to that side of myself that holds synchronicity and dreaming. Be a philosopher~! How did we get here and where are we going? How are the pieces of my life experience fitting so far, into my overall personal mythology? What is the big picture, or purpose of my life?
In other words, you want to derail, distract or shut down the little gremlin in your head (irrational thoughts) and his little sidekick excess emotion.
The little gremlin (what some call the ego) loves drama~! Don't give in to his nonsense.
Other distractions and ways to shut down the over-active mind include tapping and earthing. Get grounded ~!
Drugs or alcohol are a temporary diversion, but we must not evade the imperative to examine our core beliefs. There are no shortcuts for digging deep into who we really are, and what we need, to be content and productive.
GET FOCUSED~! On an essay, cleaning the house, some activism or community work - the fastest way to lose unwanted irrational thoughts is to be of service, and to engage with real issues in the real world.
Over-emotion leads to self-sabotage~!! Learn skills for self-discipline.
And be kind to yourself ~!!
We all have irrational thoughts. Gradually find the best way (for you) to stop your irrational thoughts and over-emotionalized reactions ~!
A Guide to Rational Living - Albert Ellis
Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way - Rick Carson
Outfoxing Fear: Folktales From Around The World - Kathleen Ragan
Pegi Eyers is the author of "Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community," an award-winning book that explores strategies for intercultural competency, healing our relationships with Turtle Island First Nations, uncolonization, recovering an ecocentric worldview, rewilding, creating a sustainable future and reclaiming peaceful co-existence in Earth Community.
Available from Stone Circle Press or Amazon.