Negative thoughts are NOT the cause of your suffering

I’ve known a few suicidal people in my life, unfortunately, and while I can’t be sure of the thoughts they had in their head prior to what they did, a common thinking theme for suicidal people is this idea:

“I’m a burden. They would be better off without me. No one would care anyway.”

Of course, every funeral I’ve been to for a suicide victim has been packed with grieving, devastated people. So perhaps this line of thinking is not the most rational.

As I always tell my clients, your negative thoughts are not the problem, it’s your belief in them that’s the problem.

It’s your faith in the noises your mind makes; this idea that your mind never lies, that everything that pops into your head is some version of truth that you should therefore take seriously and react to.

No! The mind is full of shit.

When you learn to be sceptical about your thoughts, to question their validity and reliability, you will quickly come to realise that barely anything the mind says is accurate.

If you’re having dark negative thoughts, your first reaction should be, is this true? Is there evidence for this? Am I making this up?

You think, “I’m such a failure”. If so, then how are you still alive? You must have succeeded enough to survive at least.

You think, “No one likes me”. If so, why do you have memories of positive interactions with people? It’s more likely that you’re discounting and taking for granted the people who love you while focusing on a few who ignore or reject you.

You think, “I’m an imposter, I don’t deserve this job.” If so, then why haven’t they fired you? Surely, you don’t believe your company is so cowardly and inept that they would retain a costly and ineffective employee.

And if these kinds of thoughts are happening a lot, then your next question should be, do I need to go see a doctor and get this treated? Do I have depression?

Hey, if you were limping all day you’d get your leg checked by a medical professional, right?

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One Response

  1. Another trick is to try to find the origin of the thought. Where did it come from? You’ll discover that you can’t find the source, which means you can’t trust it

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