We obviously don’t want our mind to jitter like a hyperactive oscillator, especially when our thoughts are tainted by anger, self-doubt, self-pity, bitterness, and defensiveness. It’s not a happy fate to become a worrywart, nervous wreck, or angry ogre.
When we become preoccupied with negative thoughts, our unconscious mind is the dynamo driving the process. In our unconscious, we have unresolved emotions from childhood that involve feeling helpless, deprived, refused, criticized, and rejected. We’re inclined if not compelled to experience ourselves and our place in the world in ways that recycle and replay such unresolved emotions.
Incessant negative thinking accompanies these unresolved emotions. This thinking often constitutes inner dialogue that tries to make sense of what we’re feeling. Often our thoughts are defending us from, or covering up, a conscious recognition of our own unconscious determination or willingness to experience our daily situations and circumstances through these unresolved negative emotions.
Almost everyone has intrusive, disconcerting thoughts at times, and these thoughts are often accompanied by anxiety and fear. Yet people might not realize they’re engaged in incessant negative thinking. Their dire considerations and grim speculations feel to them like normal mental processing. Their mind can be humming a low discordant tune they hardly notice, such as when they constantly feel that something has to be attended to, or when they dwell on some situation that they feel helpless to fix or improve upon, or when they’re preoccupied with the sense that some important benefit is missing from their life.
These are all passive experiences, in the sense that we let this negativity persist with no thought to stopping it or no idea how to stop it. If we don’t recognize our passivity, we’ll go on believing that everything’s normal, that our underlying disquietude is just the way life is and the way we are meant to be. [Read more…]