Mastering Ignore

ignore_smIn last week’s blog post Filtering Thought-Spam, I wrote about how your mind’s “ignore” functions like an e-mail spam folder for unhelpful thoughts.  Since recognizing spam-like thoughts tends to be easier than ignoring them, you might try some of the following ignore strategies.

Meditation establishes a solid foundation for your ignore.  You practice observing your thoughts rise and fall while neither getting too attached to them nor resisting them.  A meditation practice also reduces reactivity when bothersome thoughts surface in everyday life.  Unfortunately many people erect barriers against meditating, telling themselves they can’t do it, they just don’t have what it takes, it’s too time-consuming or weird or whatever.  Fascinating how spam-thoughts prevent starting a practice to reduce those very thoughts!

Label erroneous thoughts “spam” or “phishing scams” to distance from them.  If needed, you can follow with the thought “And what do you do with spam?  Delete it, of course!”  Anything which drains the power of thoughts helps.  Retain your power to choose whether or not to act on your thoughts.

Observe yourself thinking.  Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living, shares an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) based strategy where you say to yourself, “I notice I’m having the thought that….”  This brings you into the observer role and reduces identifying with your thought or even believing you *are* your thought.

Apply the three Jin Shin Jyutsu® acupressure organ self-helps known “Face Flows” to reduce excessive thinking.  These flow through your head calming your busy brain, therefore they also help with thought-induced insomnia.  Try the Stomach, Bladder, and Gallbladder Organs Face Flow self-helps.

What tricks and strategies do you employ to ignore your thoughts?  What makes ignoring easier or harder?

8 comments

  1. Hi Christy,
    While reading this post, I found myself nodding in agreement. Definitely guilty of using spam-thoughts to put off meditation. Love this line => Fascinating how spam-thoughts prevent starting a practice to reduce those very thoughts!
    Thanks for another insightful post!
    Joanne 🙂

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    • Hi Joanne,
      Thanks for your comment. Our spammy thoughts are mighty clever, aren’t they? They know just what will pacify us and keep us from starting beneficial practices!
      May you have a thought-spam free day,
      Christy 🙂

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    • Thanks for your comment, Julie. Glad you found the idea of labeling junky thoughts as “spam” helpful. We certainly generate a lot of useless, problematic, and even off-purpose thoughts as we move through our days and lives! I love it when we put ourselves back in charge. 🙂
      Take care,
      Christy

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  2. I’ve never heard of ‘thought-spam’ before; I love this concept. It reminds me a little of Steven Pressfield’s explanation on how to overcome Resistance. Accepting negative thoughts as reactive mechanisms outside of ourselves, we can learn to ignore them.

    One technique that works for me, when I encounter a negative thought, is to laugh at it. It’s as if by laughing, thought-spam loses it’s power and fades away.

    Thanks for this insightful post, Christy 🙂

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    • Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for your visit and comment. I’m glad you like my concept of thought-spam, I consider pesky thoughts like e-mail phishing scams too – do not click the link/do not get hooked by the thought!

      Someone sent me Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art a few months ago and I never read it so I’m glad you mentioned him. I’ll have to put it in my “To be read” pile.

      I love the idea of laughing at negative thoughts. If you have enough awareness around your thoughts not being “you” to the point you can be amused, you’re well on your way!

      You’re welcome and thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Warmly,
      Christy

      Like

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