Have you ever felt that you just can’t stop thinking about someone – what they did or said and how you were affected by their actions? How can we stop such obsessive thoughts?
When someone causes us pain, we can focus on them for hours or sometimes days. We could be washing the dishes, driving, walking with a dog, but we can’t stop fixating about them. Their image and their words will continue to play in our mind. Five hours, five days, five weeks … and about all the same things.
You want to get rid of these thoughts, but you can’t. Although, there is a way.
There are several ways to do that…
1. “Let’s just wait and see what will happen next.” Sometimes we feel that we need to respond to difficult people or situations right now, so we don’t know what to say or do next.
Buddhist principles advise simply wait and see what will happen next.
2. “First, look at the biggest problem.” Buddhism suggests that regardless of what happened, the biggest challenge we face is our own anger or fear. You need to talk to yourself: meditate, exercise, walk. When you are angry /fearful, it weakens the mind. You can’t think clearly or be creative enough to cope with the situation. Anger shrinks the mind. If you want to think clearly, you should release the anger.
3. “Don’t try to understand others.” Ask yourself, if other people tried to figure out what you think – would they be able to do that? They probably don’t have a clue of what’s really going on in your mind. So why should you try to understand what others think?
4. “Your thoughts are not facts.” In other words, don’t believe everything you think. We experience our emotions — anxiety, stress, fear — in our body. Therefore, we often perceive them as a sign that our thoughts are true facts. This is not the case. Emotions are just emotions and not factual at all.
5. “You are not your past”. When we are confronted with past events, we often think of how we could do something differently to prevent the unfortunate outcome. But what happened in the past we cannot change. In Shakespeare’ s Macbeth it says, “what is done is done and can’t be undone”, which is very true. You must forgive for your own sake, because forgiveness is not what you do to help others. Forgiveness is for yourself, and in fact, it is the most selfish act you will ever do.
6. Remedy- “Put them in a white ball and send them out of your mind.” When you can’t stop thinking about someone, imagine placing them in a beautiful ball of white light. Surround them with this light, until your anger/fear disappear. Then, send the ball out of your mind.