18 Answers

  1. The problem of stalking the past occurs in many people. Most often, this is due to the subconscious rejection of certain situations, whether it is wrong choices made by a person, or unfair situations. In any case, these problems are purely internal in nature.
    In part, the phrase “idleness is the devil's forge” can also be cited here, which means that negativity in life is caused by an idle mind, in which bad thoughts are generated and pop up by themselves. So the first way is to start living and do something useful that will not only help you get rid of obsessive thoughts, but also succeed in any field. It can be reading, a hobby, or a sport. In any case, it will be the best alternative to a semi-depressive existence that mixes the fears of the future, the regrets of the past, and the apathy of the present.
    A more effective and precise method is the reverse action. That is, in purposefully remembering, reliving, and thinking about a situation that has negatively attached itself to you. When a ship at sea gets caught in a storm, it goes towards the center of the storm and passes through it, since in case of escape, the storm will pursue the ship In the same way, you should survive those situations that cause you negative emotions and let them go. Yes, it will be very difficult and unpleasant, but it is very easy to understand that it is better to find the strength and endure once, rather than constantly running away from obsessive thoughts.
    The third option is aimed at getting rid of the general negative and various garbage. This is a method of meditation. It is not difficult to meditate and you only need a couple of square meters of flat surface, a pillow and 5-15 minutes of free time. Vipassana-type meditation is a very simple way to get rid of obsessive thoughts and clear your mind.

  2. Prepare for the fact that this process will be lengthy. The liberation of the mind is indeed a continuous activity, which requires correct recognition, correct thinking, correct speech, correct actions, correct work, correct life, correct alertness, and correct concentration. This is called the eight steps of the path to Truth, and the word “right” is used to mean skillful, or beneficial. Read the list below and think about how you can apply them to your life, as well as those cases from your own experience where they could be useful to you.

    • This is very similar to a recipe – by choosing the right ingredients, you get the desired result, but when the mixture is wrong or something important is missed, you will never achieve the indicated result. Many ingredients emphasize and interact with others, helping each other achieve a goal.
    • Another important part to consider is simply making the right effort, implying that there are incorrect efforts. Simply put, just effort, alertness, concentration (etc.) is not enough. The biography of the Buddha proves that he practiced the 8 components in various forms, all the time combining and modifying them. But only when their purpose was correct did they interact and make a decision.

    Consider the first step of 8 and how you can apply it – “Correct Understanding”. To a large extent, this is learning and understanding the depths of the 4 noble truths of Buddhism, but, in fact, proper understanding depends on realizing that everything is changing. This is because they change without our consent, and we cannot directly depend on them, expect perfection and eternal happiness from them.

    • Proper understanding also implies the importance of becoming a virtuous person, practicing mental development, and developing wisdom, as these three aspects not only support the 8 steps of the path, but also build and support each other.

    Start applying the “Right Mindset” wherever you can. Right thinking inspires benevolent thoughts, understanding, and generosity, while simultaneously rejecting greed, hatred, and beliefs, beliefs, and delusions. Right thinking requires the existence of right understanding, because without understanding, there is no basis for understanding the difference between skillful and unskillful thought connections.

    • In a practical sense, the four “divine abodes” of benevolence, compassion, appreciation, and equanimity (or acceptance) are useful for balancing the mind. It may seem that knowing the four noble truths makes life dry, sterile, and miserable, even though the virtues of supporting and applying the divine mansions will not only eliminate unhappy feelings, but also create happiness and well-being. In practice, when you feel desire, think about gratitude for what you already have, and when you feel unhappy, turn to compassion. It is the use of opposites that makes it so effective. Consider a basic analogy: in mathematics (-1) + (1) = 0, in this sense, negative emotions can be counterbalanced by the positive balance of others, and to find well-being, you need to practice it with sincerity.

    Practice “Correct Speech”. Speech comes from our thoughts, harsh thoughts give rise to harsh speech, but if we give up harsh thoughts, we don't make harsh speeches, because there are no mental intentions. On the other hand, a person with a positive mental state can make a more skilful and positive speech in a discussion.

    • In practice, this also includes cases where it is impossible to discuss certain issues, but correct speech takes this factor into account, as well as the ability to show the virtuousness of your words.

    Analyze the third step – “Correct actions”. It, in a sense, also follows from correct thinking, because if we have evil thoughts, then our actions will be the same. Correct actions and speech should be aimed at harmlessness and getting rid of stress.

    • It's interesting to note that doing the right thing also gets rid of things that cause stress in the mind. Correct actions build and support correct thinking and correct speech, because just thinking about giving up something bad and practicing something useful is not enough, you need to take a step and execute. This is another key way that path components involve and build other parts of the same path.

    Carefully consider ” Proper Labor.” Proper work is the application of effort to understand and execute what is not easy to do. To a large extent, it is a centered focus, not excessive effort to force the mind, nor violent actions that will destroy its aspects (fruitless effort), nor its opposite – lack of effort. This is a middle effort with no intent to cause harm.

    • In a practical sense, right work extends to all the other components of the path. Without effort, there is no intention to act skillfully, and it is much easier to do nothing and just let the mind remain in turmoil. But labor needs to be properly recognized, because it is very easy to abuse and not balance.

    Study the “Right Life” and compare it with your own experience and profession. Living the right life means avoiding work where you need to be cruel and harsh towards people and other living and non-living things, and any other work that calls into question virtue, mental abilities and wisdom. This is not always possible, and it is a great happiness to have a job where there is no harm, and to have a choice in the development of your career.

    • In practice, living the right life is not a way of life that “belongs” to you or that you claim as your own. If you have a good job, then the right mindset comes into play and you value what you have, but in your mind you realize that slavery still exists in some regions of the world. If your job is not what you would like, if at the end of the day you can leave work and difficulties behind the office doors and release the stress that it can bring, then this is the minimum for the job. Doing the right work and doing the right things is just as relevant as living the right life – be a virtuous employee who earns your pay, doesn't interfere with office politics, and doesn't neglect your responsibilities.

    Also carefully study ” Right Mindfulness.” Mindfulness is the awareness of daily activities and what is happening in the biological body, its sensations, consciousness, mental feelings, how and when they arise. Mindfulness is an ongoing activity that involves taking mental notes or simply being aware and observant. Ideally, it includes the right actions and the right understanding, so that when you see something, you know what to do with it and will do it. Just a simple remark and observation will not remove the problem.

    • If you can't understand what is happening, then it is almost impossible to take the right actions and give up aggressive thoughts and harsh intentions. With alertness, you can also recognize and learn to distinguish between stress (a developing ability) and potentially harmful thoughts and intentions. But alertness requires the application of understanding and action, and depends on the practice of these components.

    “Proper concentration ” develops the mind to maintain alertness and attention. It can be achieved during meditation and daily activities. Without concentration, there is no work and vigilance. It develops with time and the right understanding, but also with the right effort, without which concentration and alertness are useless.

    • In a particular context, concentration is directly related to or limited to the meditative self-absorption known as dhyana or jhana. Immersion is a great skill to develop, but remember that if you isolate yourself, you won't get the job done. It can also cause many complications, such as getting used to this calm state, a lot of delusions, and even panic and despair when the calm state passes, or the inability to achieve immersion even with prolonged practice. Most people have never experienced it.
    • Dhyana can be used as a magnifying glass to look into the mind and it is very effective, but remember that the same can be done by using meditation without being absorbed in yourself, but only if you spend a lot of time and dedication to study the mind day after day. Another of its key virtues is that it deeply calms the mind for a long time, which can not be achieved by developing meditation without immersion, so penetration meditation is often called dry, because it does not give long rest. Depending on proper understanding, it can also lead to higher mental development, which is another advantage. It should be remembered that many people have achieved immersion, but have not got rid of their problems, so this skill should be developed, but it remains only a component. It requires developing the right work, the right understanding, and the right vigilance.
    • Interestingly, the Buddha taught those who have learned dhyana to praise and respect those who have failed, because to throw off the burden, they need strength, hard work, determination and a very deep understanding. Those who could not understand dhyana were taught to praise and respect those who could, because it is a very difficult skill and not everyone can develop it.

    Take note of this group and learn how each part relates to the other and how to use them for your own benefit. Many of them seem logical and reasonable, but as always, you won't know until you try it. It is important to remember that by and large, we always see correct understanding as the main component that everyone else depends on, because without understanding, everyone else is not so effective.

    Start incorporating this into your daily experience and see how they start working for you. The biggest benefit is when you start comparing your past and present experiences, experimenting to see the differences compared to the past. This will not only increase the speed at which they will start working, but it will also make them easier as you understand their benefits.

    • Also, be very careful to note that there is no “correct culture” or “correct traditions, customs, and rituals” in this group, because they are just the “wallpaper” of life. They add color and interest, and although they remain inconsequential, if handled unwisely, they can lead to great inconvenience. The main reason for so many failures is that they still involve culture and identity, teachers, the origin and interpretation of things that you are not ready to let go of or test whether attachment to them will never actually lead to mental freedom.
    • The Buddha put this into a very simple analogy: after people cross a river, they don't need to carry a boat on their heads. Ultimately, if you crossed the river but decided to stay in the boat on the other side, you will never get out and continue on with your life's journey. It will take you a long way to get there, but if you stay in a boat that is moored to the shore, you will stay where you are and achieve nothing. By using alertness to know and understand things, you will no longer be deceived by expectations and let go of all the insignificant things, you will free your mind.'


    • Don't be a stranger, let them know you.
    • Understand that you have become obsessed with something and let it go. Obsession doesn't solve the problem, but there are other things to do. The more you let go of your thoughts and feelings, the easier it is to let go, until your mind gets used to it and the idle chatter simply disappears.
    • Be kind to yourself. Often we are unhappy simply because we don't have kindness for ourselves. Attempts to destroy aspects of the mind will force the mind to stand up for what it is trying to destroy – this is the defense of the mind when it is in danger.
    • It's easy to get attached to feelings of bliss and happy times, but they come and go, and we can't adjust our minds to these standards in the hope that things will stay that way. While there is no way to protect your mind when it changes and responds to impulses, you can use these feelings as a starting point to work and calm your mind.
  3. “Unnecessary” thoughts and memories are different… Some need to be passed through your consciousness, because they are connected with your purpose, refusing which you will turn on the mechanism of retribution

    Thoughts and memories that cause anxiety, which turns into destructive phobias, are overcome in different ways:

    1. The displacement of fear by other strong emotions, such as a mother's fear for a sick child, can cripple her, or, on the contrary, make her overcome it and start fighting furiously for the life of her child.
    2. Discipline and spiritual practices aimed at overcoming fear. Fear management can be taught, even the Spartans knew this, who found out that young men who committed crimes against adults grow up to be brave men. Training to overcome fears, supported by spiritual practices – for example: refusing food, performing difficult and unpleasant tasks, stepping over your ego for the sake of the interests of another, all this allows you to achieve some fear management.
    3. Blocking out fear by concentrating all your senses and mind on the task at hand. An example is the frightened and exhausted soldiers who rush to the attack at the most fatal moment, and their suddenly found will to win, overturning the enemy. Let's remember the defense of the Brest Fortress in 1941 or the “attack of the dead” during the defense of Osovets fortress in April 1915. When German troops, after several months of besieging the fortress of Osowiec (near the city of Bialystok in modern Poland), used poison gas, and went to finish off the poisoned defenders…The remnants of the Russian troops rushed into a bayonet attack and the Germans did not accept the battle and fled, and many of them were destroyed…

    But these are not the most effective ways. Given here, take: Managing your fear. Fear that turns into terror, and fear as a tool for strengthening the spirit.

  4. You can clear it, but only temporarily. For example, during meditation. You can learn, again with the help of meditation, to control your consciousness and then you can not only get rid of unwanted thoughts and memories when they come, but even manage this process. This is a common practice, the practice of knowing your own “I”. Meditation allows you to comprehend as deeply as your will is sufficient for this (namely, will, and not intelligence or intelligence).

  5. Read about the BSFF technique (written by Larry Nimson) – very easy to use and quite working. Moreover, the principle of its operation is good because it does not remove unnecessary memories/thoughts, but only removes negative emotions associated with them.

    That is, you will be able to calmly discuss events/facts that previously seemed sad/unpleasant/tragic to you without the previous negativity.

  6. Write out all your memories in a special diary. In general, it is better to clear your head of all memories. Therefore, you need to start writing out, starting from today, then yesterday, the day before yesterday, and so gradually release yourself. Castaneda has written about it.

    In general, writing all your memories in a diary really helps. Only it is better to write with a pen, not to type.

  7. Our mind is not a container for our experiences. We can't just empty it and live a different life right away.

    But why do we get better with time? Emotions lose their importance and significance after a certain time, are de-actualized, and the bridge “unnecessary thought-unpleasant feeling” is cut off. This is based on the gradual switching of our attention, as well as the protective functions of our psyche in relation to information: deactualization, devaluation, forgetting.

  8. I will try to get a bonus for the most bonal answer.

    Find an activity that seems important and immerse yourself in it.�

    In my example, it was physics. In addition to the attraction of suffering, I gained some knowledge, a few friends, and an untold number of questions about everything.

    It's easier to give yourself to work, it helps, but it won't develop you.

  9. I simply write down everything that bothers me on a piece of paper, and my brain perceives the recording as something that it is no longer necessary to constantly scroll through, so as not to forget. And the memories stop being so sharp and painful, I throw out the leaf by itself.

  10. Work.Very hard work. Occupy every minute of your free time with work. And then all your bad thoughts will go away. And negative memories will be forgotten, that's actually the whole secret:)

  11. Nothing you can do will help you, because all this will come from all that impurity of consciousness, that is, from the mind, which is what every person is. A person is not a body, the body is just a form of nature that cleanses itself, if you(the person) do not insist on its contamination.

    We are not born as a body, but in a body in the form of a form-thought- “I am”, as an awareness of this very fact, which is impossible to argue with, because otherwise this awareness would not exist either. However, very soon we have to lose this innocence, which is called metaphorical contamination of the mind, in other words, our expulsion from Paradise or the fall from grace.

    We lose the ability, without realizing ourselves in it, to be aware of what is happening in witnessing ourselves and the world, without being conditioned with what is being witnessed. Through language, we get what we don't actually know. It is this knowledge that is the knowledge of the mind, its content, with which we are forced to identify ourselves, becoming polluted, because direct and immediate, that is, existential awareness in a person does not work, there is no proper power of the spirit for this. Hence the lies and delusions that govern every human being.

  12. The answer that first comes to mind is no way. If you think about the wording of this question, it is easy to imagine the mind as a bag in which things are put or taken out. Or as a hard disk to which content is written or overwritten. But in reality, this is not entirely true. Thinking is constantly busy with various tasks. It is a fluid process, only part of which is realized. Only what a person is focused on, what he is thinking about at the moment, has special qualities of brightness and liveliness, due to the mental function of attention. Attention has a number of properties, including switchability. To stop thinking about something, you need to switch your attention to other relevant content of consciousness. Trying not to think about something still keeps you on that thought. If you don't want to think about the difficult conversation ahead, think about other conversations that have taken place in the past. Remember the successful conversations that have borne fruit. What arguments did you use? How did the other person react?

    To make the most effective use of attention switching, it is important to know that attention can vary. And the switching methods, respectively, can be used in different ways.

    The simplest form of attention that dominates young children is involuntary. So it is called, because the person does not choose what to direct attention to, and is often captured by the object. A loud, sudden sound outside the window – and then we were already switched to what was happening there. Involuntary attention is drawn to intense stimuli, new stimuli, or stimuli related to our actual needs. To manage involuntary attention, you need to organize your environment accordingly. It should contain either intense and vivid stimuli, or interesting and new ones, or both. It can be a disco, a trip to the cinema, a board or computer game, your favorite activity, or something related to deferred desires.

    If intense, exciting stimuli are not available to you at the moment, you can try a change of scenery. If you are indoors, go outside, preferably to the park. Try to notice as many details around you as possible. At the same time, it is good to pay attention to what you are not used to. If you study nature more often during walks, try to remember the people you meet. If, usually, you pay more attention to people, explore the surrounding space, road surface, vegetation, sky, and architectural features. Try to remember as many details as possible, as if you are going to write a story about your walk.

    If you can't take a walk, your body is a reliable source of new and unusual sensations. Close your eyes and examine the entire body sequentially with your inner eye. Focus on the vivid sensations, giving yourself time to get a good feel for them. Although here I already use techniques to stimulate voluntary attention.

    Voluntary attention is directed wherever the person sees fit to direct it. Switching and holding voluntary attention takes effort. The ability to apply volitional effort has to be trained. Voluntary attention develops in a person as they grow older and integrate into society. This is the form of attention that I suggested that you address when asking questions about other conversations. There are many ways to train voluntary attention and its switching. For example, ball games, especially team games. Since childhood, many people have known the fun “Don't say yes or no, don't take black and white”. It allows you to train switching ability, distribution and concentration of attention. Some time ago, a wonderful board game “Preved, Medved” appeared, which not only develops attention, but can set a cheerful tone for a friendly party. Recent studies also claim that meditation contributes to the development of voluntary attention and its switchability (Brefczynski-Lewis JA, Lutz A, Schaefer HS, Levinson DB, Davidson RJ. Neural correlates of attention expertise in long-term meditation practitioners. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2007;104:11483–11488).

    There are a large number of meditation guides available in Russian. I like the approach implemented on the Real Mindfulness website realmindfulness.ru

    The consequence of the efforts made to implement arbitrary attention is its depletion. This is partly the basis of the paradoxical intention method. If you can't get your mind off the upcoming conversation, focus on it as thoroughly as possible. Remember all your interlocutors. What do they look like, what color are their hair and eyes, what is their voice, how do they smell? What do you know about their personality traits? If you have a conversation plan with the expected responses of your opponents, give yourself the task of replaying the development of events in your head 50 times in a row, without being distracted by anything.

    When a thought occupies us for too long and returns our attention, it means that it serves some important need or purpose and is therefore included in the person's personality. This is how post-spontaneous attention works. It allows composers to spend hours working on their work without being distracted by anything. This form of attention develops when a once arbitrary action becomes personally significant and takes on additional meaning. Even this attention can be switched. To do this, you will have to assume that the thought you are thinking is not useless. And find the most honest answer to what this thought is for you? Why do you need it? And focus on other ways to achieve this goal. The answer is not always obvious. Often, annoying thoughts allow us to avoid solving problems that we are not sure of the outcome of. Then it is important to answer the question: why do I consider these thoughts “unnecessary”? What do I need to think about now? What for? And why shouldn't I really go to them?

    Finding the answer can be difficult on your own. A psychologist will help you figure out the cause when following your thoughts. Analytical psychologists, gestalt therapists, and client-centered psychologists work particularly well in this area. A cognitive behavioral psychologist or psychotherapist can help you find the most effective way to switch your attention and turn it into a habit.

    Sometimes obsessive thoughts, such as those that do not seem to fit into the general course of thoughts, arise at illogical moments, and also cause a person to suffer from the inability to stop them, can be a symptom of mental illness. Therefore, it will be useful to consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

  13. I'm praying. You need to get rid of negative thoughts. Prayers are a wonderful remedy. But not long prayers. Memories do not need to be accompanied with negative emotions.They, i.e., these emotions, are attached to these memories when remembering.Everything is fixed in the brain.The brain is like a computer,and whatever you record, it reproduces.My friends who say mantras all day long, who listen to relaxing music, especially before going to bed,who pray all day long. I choose such friends and there are no problems.I stay away from negative people, although I help with advice when necessary. When you are surrounded by beautiful people ,life is easy. Thank God, I'm happy with my life. You have to fill yourself with love for God, and then life treats you well.

  14. There is such a technique of substitution.Do you know how to effectively get rid of the song “parasite” that sticks and does not go out of your head? It is necessary to add after each line some word taken from the ceiling and try to sing it several times.This is how you can deal with some thoughts, but each case must be dealt with separately, since in psychotherapy there is no one technique and technique for all problems.

  15. Escape attempts predict an eternal return. Therefore, the only way out is a deep, painful introspection, which, ultimately, will help to revive the personality and, possibly, make it stronger and wiser. But, again, everything is quite individual, so each case should be considered separately and look for the right ways and methods to solve the problem.

  16. This is impossible-they can only be replaced by new positive impressions, and then past failures and resentments will lose their emotional coloring, and the reasons for their occurrence can be soberly evaluated and a lesson learned.

  17. This is not such a difficult task. Easier than it sounds.�
    And there are more than one methods.
    But it's still not easy, and it can't be solved in 5 minutes.
    Or rather, ” clear your mind…”you can do it in 5 minutes, but you will have to do all the preparatory exercises for about a year.
    Options: you can go to Tmschikam, to some thread sensible yoga group to enroll, neponaroshechny chi-gong helps, well, etc. There are also purely psychological techniques, without a touch of esotericism; if nothing is confused, then Assagioli was engaged in a suitable approach, although here I can be wrong.

  18. I'm sorry in advance, but your question can easily be interpreted as: “How do I cut off a part of myself that I don't like?”

    Absolutely all people have different unpleasant feelings that are closely related to the past. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is no way to change the past. And if you could, would you really? Because of the past, especially in some places unpleasant, you have become what you are now. You think and perceive yourself and others now in this way, and not otherwise, only because such your thinking and perception grew out of the past.

    About clearing the mind. Everett Shostrom (uncle-psychotherapist) wrote that for the vast majority of people, the left hand makes everything much worse than the right. And if you look from certain angles, then this hand in a good way could just be chopped off. But no one, of course, does this, for one simple reason-the hand is an integral part of you. Whatever it is, it is a part of you, and there is no other such part, better or worse, to be seen. But, writes Shostrom, if the attitude is quite unambiguous regarding the external limbs, and no one wants to cut off anything, then for some reason people are not particularly shy about cutting off everything right and left in relation to our inner world.

    So, cutting off unnecessary thoughts and memories is not worth it. They should not be cut off, but taken. Try to accept that my parents didn't hit me over the head because they were bad, but because they'd been through a lot of trouble themselves. That the struggle with thoughts about a former romantic life partner, with whom I broke up, is not a struggle with thoughts and not with the companion itself, but a struggle with a part of myself that was born thanks to this companion. Etc.

    In words, all this, of course, looks much easier than in reality. People sometimes do not cope with these thoughts and experiences, and form vicious circles. This is when, because of thoughts, it is impossible to carry out any important activity in life, and the failure to carry out this activity in turn again leads to disturbing “unnecessary” thoughts. And so one thing leads to another, and then a new one. This vicious circle is called neurosis.

    You should try to treat yourself (and others) not as a robot, from which you can disconnect an extra part, but as a living, complex and integral being. With this attitude, life will become more complete and lively.

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