Letting go negative thoughts

Letting Go of Negative Thoughts: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you find yourself distracted by negative thinking? You’ve come to the right place.

With at least 6,000 thoughts a day running through your mind, a few of them are bound to be negative.

The trouble is, when they take over our minds, negative thoughts can interfere with everyday activities, interrupt sleep, and prevent us from leading happy, healthy lives. This is common with anxiety and depression.

That’s why we put together this step-by-step process on how to acknowledge and practice letting go of recurring negative thoughts. This comes from the perspective of not only a yoga instructor, but someone in recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and years of anxious, depressive thoughts.

This is part two of a three-part series about how to deal with negative thoughts. Part one talks about how to become aware of them. Part two (this article) is about how to let them go. Part three discusses how to work with, or “replace,” unhelpful thoughts with positive ones.

Here are 4 steps that could help you start letting go of those negative thoughts:

First and foremost, it can be helpful to remember that you are not your thoughts, you’re simply holding onto them right now.

You’re observing them and providing a safe container for them to exist, but they’re not a reflection of who you are — nor do you need to take action, at least not yet.

It can even be useful to name your negative thoughts. I call mine “Kali,” named for the Hindu goddess of destruction. Whenever I start going down a negative thought spiral, I’ll say to myself, “Oh, there’s Kali. What do you have for me today my friend?”

By putting a subtle separation between the core of “you” and your negative thoughts, you can gain perspective about the role they play in your life.

Your thoughts are merely the passenger — not the driver. Also, no matter how difficult they feel, they’re temporary.

Think of your negative thoughts as an untrained, jumping, barking dog. You can try and ignore them, tell them “no,” or turn on Netflix to tune them out, but they’ll keep hounding you until you give them some attention.

That’s their job, after all — to convince you to tune in. So, once you’re aware of the negative thoughts, listen to what they have to say. Whether you’re at home or work, find a quiet place to pause and ground yourself.

Close your eyes. Relax your brow. Release your jaw. Draw your shoulders up toward your ears, then roll them backward and down your spine. Open up your heart space. Take a few deep breaths deep into your low belly and ask, “Negative thoughts, why are you here?”

You may be surprised by the answer. You may think it’s about something that happened earlier in the day, yet there’s a chance that your current situation reminds you of a wound from your past that still needs to be healed, making you feel that much worse.

If you find it difficult to sit still and tune into your thoughts, that’s OK. You might find it easier to process these emotions or thoughts by walking in nature by yourself, journaling in a stream of consciousness, or working with paints or colored pencils to bring the negative thoughts into artistic form.

You know what they say: You have to feel it to heal it.

Oftentimes, negative thoughts are an invitation to explore a pent-up emotion, like grief, fear, or anger. Tune into your body and try to pinpoint where you’re holding onto these emotions physically.

You might experience grief as a tightening in your chest, anxiety in the pit of your stomach, or anger as shaking in your arms and legs. Once you tune into a specific area of discomfort in your body, imagine sending 10 deep breaths to those areas.

This will cool the fire, so to speak. It will send a strong, calming signal to your autonomic nervous system. This calms the fight, flight, or freeze response, a response that releases your stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline.

Deep breathing engages the parasympathetic nervous system — your “rest and digest” mode — so you can think more clearly about what’s bothering you and come up with solutions.

In truth, negative thoughts are there to protect us. They alert us when something isn’t quite right about our circumstances. If they weren’t there, we wouldn’t know when something was “off.”

In a weird way, negative thoughts are actually a blessing.

Rather than try and push away negative thoughts, we must accept that they’re an annoying, yet integral part of being a human. They’re more than welcome to share our mental space, as long as they don’t try to run the show — that’s our job.

To recover from a system overload, see negative thoughts as a gift in strange packaging and carve out time in your everyday schedule to sit with them in meditation.

You may not notice a change right away, but meditation works in layers — each session builds on the other. Over time, you may notice that you have way more control over your negative thoughts.

Now that you’ve acknowledged your negative thoughts, hopefully they have a little less power over your mind. Perhaps you’re ready to let them go. If so, action combined with intention can be very powerful.

Write a spew letter

Get all of those negative thoughts out of your system by putting them down on paper.

If your negative thoughts are about a relationship, write out a letter to the person. Don’t hold back at all and make sure to say everything you need to.

Once the letter feels complete, take a quiet moment to sit with it.

If it’s a letter to someone else, now imagine that person sitting in front of you and read the letter out loud with all of your emotions. When you’re finished, put it away, burn it (safely), or delete it. You’re not going to send this letter to anyone — this is for you and your thought process.

This is similar to the ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness, Ho’oponopono, which may bring you some peace as well.

Talk to someone about it

Sometimes, the simple act of getting things off your chest will make you feel as though a huge weight has been lifted.

It can be reassuring to know that you’re not the only one having to live with your thoughts, as if someone is sharing the burden with you.

Give it to nature

If you live near an ocean, practice writing out your negative thoughts in the sand. Take a few steps back and wait for the waves to wash over them. As they do, imagine the negative thoughts leaving your mind. Repeat this as many times as needed.

Create a worry box

This is a place to physically store your negative thoughts.

  1. Pick up a small wooden box at an arts and crafts store, or find a spare box around your home.
  2. Decorate, paint, or glue magazine art onto it. Cut a hole in the top.
  3. Whenever you have negative thoughts, write them down and place them in your worry box.
  4. If it feels good, imagine that you’re “turning over” your negative thoughts to something bigger than you, like a higher power, your ancestors, or the universe in general. Once the negative thoughts are in that box, they’re no longer yours.

Shake it off

In the wild, when animals experience a stressful event, you’ll notice something interesting: They don’t sit and ruminate about what just happened. Instead, animals literally shake out their bodies, then move on with their day.

Thinking negatively about something over and over again appears to be an exclusively human trait. It may bring you some comfort to take after animals in the wild and move your body as a way to process difficult thoughts.

To help quiet the mind’s chatter, consider exercise, yoga, dancing around your home, shaking out each of your limbs, or any other form of movement you find enjoyable.

Research has shown that physical activity promotes stress relief, among other benefits.

The “then what” exercise

A lot of times, our negative thoughts are less about external events, and more about whether we believe we’ll be able to handle them — like feeling out of control or wondering if you’ll get through this.

This exercise below is designed to help you play out the worst-case scenario in your mind. It’s a technique with roots in stoic philosophy, called anticipating adversity.

Write out a negative thought you’re having. For example, my spouse can’t find another job. Ask yourself, “Then what?”

  • We can’t pay the rent.
  • Then what?
  • We’ll have to take out a loan.
  • Then what?
  • They could say no.
  • Then what?
  • We’ll have to borrow from family.
  • Then what?
  • It could strain our relationship.
  • Then what?
  • We’ll have to have a tough conversation.
  • Then what?
  • I’ll feel really embarrassed and stressed.

Continue until you can see the difference between what’s in your control and what’s out of your control. Also, you may notice the worst-case scenario is more manageable than you initially thought. Of course, this isn’t true in all cases, but this may help provide some relief from your fear.

Here’s an excellent Ted Talk from entrepreneur Tim Ferris about a similar exercise. He calls it “fear-setting,” instead of goal-setting.

Now that you’ve learned how to acknowledge your negative thoughts and take action to release them, the inner work continues.

In the next article of this three-part series, we’ll discuss how to replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Continue reading here.

How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Learn to Forgive

Earlier this week, I was driving home while mentally replaying a tense conversation I’d had with a friend that had been bugging me all day. You know, the kind that you keep turning over and over in your mind and can’t quite seem to move past. Suddenly, Taylor Swift came on the radio reminding me to “shake it off,” and I realized that the hurtful words I’d had on repeat in my mind we’re getting in the way of me showing up for everyone else in my life the rest of the day. The truth is, we’ve all been hurt by others and situations—it’s part of life—and while the pain is often out of our control, I think it’s helpful to remember that we can control our response to it.

Do we dwell and ruminate on the past… or do we learn what we can and then get back to the more important task of living our lives?

I’m obviously a big fan of the latter, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Since conflict and hurt are inevitable, I’ve been reading up on the topic of resiliency: why do some of us seem to have an easier time bouncing back and moving on? Turns out that the experts have a lot to say on the topic of how to let go of negative thoughts. So, keep scrolling for 12 ways to learn to let things go and forgive yourself and others. And remember, Taylor’s got your back.

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1 – Make the choice.

The first step is to remember that we do have a choice in letting go. We can consciously decide to stop replaying incidents in our heads, and when we think of an embarrassing situation or person who wronged us, simply remind ourselves to “let it go.”

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2 – Write it down.

When I find myself dwelling on negative thoughts, I have trouble letting them go until I pull out my journal and write about it. The simple act of putting pen to paper (more effective than typing) forces me to slow down my thoughts and articulate what’s really bothering me.

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3 – Stop blaming.

It can be easy to fall into the role of the victim, but remember that most stories have two sides. If you can take any responsibility for the situation, acknowledge that to yourself—and to the other person, when appropriate. Focusing on how you could have handled the situation differently (and how you plan to next time) brings a sense of empowerment.

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4 – Live in the present.

When you’re completely wrapped up in the here and now, there’s little time or energy to ponder past wrongs. Doesn’t it sound like more fun to embrace the present with a spirit of joy and abundance? For me, taking time each morning to meditate and pray helps me bring a more focused presence to my days.
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5 – Stop replaying the tape.

You know those times when we keep replaying past mistakes or shameful moments over and over in our heads? It’s a dangerous cycle that can rob our happiness and cause stress levels that can become serious health problems. Next time you find yourself replaying incidents over and over, choose to treat yourself with the same kindness you’d show a loved one. Breathe deeply and imagine the thoughts just melting away.

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6 – Cry it out.

Before you can let go of a negative situation, you have to feel it fully, and crying can be a soothing way to purge sad feelings and actually make yourself feel better. Did you know that studies have shown that tears actually rid the body of chemicals that raise cortisol, the stress hormone?
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7 – Channel the energy into doing something good.

Transform a painful memory or situation by using it as a catalyst to help others. Volunteer in the community, shower love on a family member that needs it, adopt a pet who needs a home. There’s always a way to use your negative experience as a launching pad to help someone else.

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8 – Release the endorphins.

For me, there’s no better way to get out of a funk than to work up a sweat.  I’ll go for a run or take a spin class, and the endorphin release almost always brings a sense of hope and clarity to my thoughts. Plus, I walk away feeling mentally strong so I can focus on the right things.

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9 – Make a list of the things you can control about the situation.

Maybe you can’t change another person’s thoughts, but you can control your attitude, you can control the effort you put into resolving a conflict, and you can control whether you view the situation as an opportunity to learn something important.

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10 – Be empathetic.

Put yourself in the shoes of another person, and try to see the situation from their perspective. Remember that we all make mistakes, and nothing conquers anger or pain quite like a spirit of compassion.

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11 – Forecast into the future.

Sometimes I imagine my life five years from now, then ask myself if I’ll care about or even remember what I’m stewing over. 99% of the time, the answer’s no. In the grand scheme of things, most of what we worry about will seem so unimportant later, so why waste time on it now?

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12 – Surround yourself with positive people.

Sometimes it helps to vent about our situation to friends or family members, but watch out that this doesn’t turn into yet another rehashing of negative thoughts. I often find that simply being in the presence of people I care about makes me happier. Laughing over something completely unrelated to my stress and being reminded of the people in my life who love me tends to put it all in perspective.

This post was originally published on February 17, 2019, and has since been updated.

How to let go of thoughts? – Buddha in the city

Here is a question from an email I received the other day.


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Hello, Valery, could you please advise me how to learn not to cling to thoughts during meditation and let them go?

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And since I decided to multiply, multiply, expand, spread, blossom, race. .. race... one, two..., in general, I can now exist in the form of sound, image and letters. What I do, I exist.

And you can listen to me on the podcast:

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View in black and white film:

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Read the text

My answer to Peter

Hello, Peter (and all, all, all)!

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The short answer is: notice them and do nothing else. Just let it come and go.

Now the answer is long .

Classification of thoughts

First, three processes of thinking must be distinguished.

1. Useful, intentional thinking.

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This is when we think about a problem, solve a problem, dream with pleasure or remember the past. There is nothing wrong with this kind of thinking, and I don't think any person in their right mind would want to get rid of it.

2. Sluggish wandering of the mind.

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Usually this is thinking that does not bring any benefit at all, but at the same time does not cause much concern. All of us regularly have some kind of fragmentary thoughts, random associations, unexpected memories and dreams. nine0003

This is normal.

As the famous Zen master Shunryu Suzuki said: “The mind secretes thoughts, as the stomach secretes digestive juice. There is no need to fight it – it is useless and harmful.

Letting go of such thoughts is not a problem: you just notice them and they burst like soap bubbles.

3. Intrusive, sticky thoughts.

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Most often these are unpleasant memories, worries about the future and a combination of the first and second. They are related to stress. nine0003

The problem with such thoughts is that, firstly, they are charged with strong negative feelings, and secondly, we identify with them. They, like a whirlpool, inexorably suck us into themselves, and we get lost in them. In a sense, we become so involved in them that we become those thoughts ourselves.

Although I would call them “thoughts-feelings”.

And it is precisely with these thoughts that we usually want to do something without fail: get rid of them, unhook, let go.

And it is about them that I will speak further. nine0003

You can't let go

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A girl I know had a dream that some magical creatures (spirits) grabbed her.

- Oh-oh , - the girl squealed, - let me go!

“Let go yourself, fool ,” the spirits calmly answered her.

Of course, it's a matter of wording, but I don't think we can let go of anything in our inner world.

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However, we may not keep .

Actually, it seems to me that this is the main secret of meditation - not to hold on.

If in inner work we try to force ourselves to do something with effort, then we fall into a vicious circle: a phenomenon (thought-feeling) arises inside, for which the consciousness clings, but, trying with all its might to get rid of it, by this very “ liberation movement” it creates more grasping.

What to do here, how to get out of the vicious circle? nine0003

I find that the best way to let go of thoughts, feelings or sensations is to notice them when they come, to acknowledge: “Yes, I am experiencing it now” experience, to stay with this experience, how it is experienced . .. and how it inevitably (inevitably!) changes.

The very word “clinging” is associated with stopping, with the impossibility of movement, but this is not true, this is an illusion, because nothing stands still and even the very anxiety that we are trying to get rid of is not static - it runs in a circle. nine0003

And our task is precisely to break out of this circle.

So, when we notice this automatic and absolutely useless whirling of thoughts-feelings, we create a wider inner space by the very act of observation, attention, awareness.

More precisely, we do not create, but remind ourselves of its existence.

And in this wide space of self-consciousness, internal tensions are gradually self-released. They just melt like snow in the spring, you don't have to do anything special with them. nine0003

Of course, this is much easier said than done, because clinging, identifying with thought-feelings happens automatically, and without the skill of this wide awareness, it can be difficult for us to free ourselves.

What can help here?

Actually, the formal practice of meditation itself.

When we allocate special time and space for ourselves, when we sit down in a special position, we do all this on purpose, consciously, that is, with the intention of deautomatization. And this intention creates the main context of the practice. nine0003


I would not neglect the importance of posture.

I notice that people often associate meditation exclusively with the work of the mind, and yet it is the work of our whole being: the body-consciousness.

I repeat once again that it is not just thoughts that disturb us, but thoughts-feelings, and feelings are a bodily reaction. Feelings are a chemical process in our blood and other fluids.

And the thought itself too. If you say that you think with your head, then let me ask you, but what is the head? It's not a body, is it? Is your brain a body organ? Doesn't the same chemical processes take place in it as in other organs? nine0003

But do you know what news I have to tell you?

What do you think not only with your head, but also with your intestines, and heart, and bones, and skin, and the entire nervous system that permeates every cell of your body.

And here you don’t need any scientific evidence (although there is one), ordinary self-observation is enough, because some thoughts make you shiver, others make your body sluggish, others shake it with laughter, and fourth also shake, but already crying. And what, you tell me that thoughts are somewhere separate from your body? Are you laughing, right? nine0003

But despite this seemingly obvious fact of the absolute inseparability of the body and mind, again and again I meet this idea of ​​meditation as an exclusively mental practice that takes place in some incomprehensible abstract space of the “mind”.

I must admit that in the first years of my practice, I also did not really understand what was so important in this meditative posture, and I was irritated by Zen teachers who persistently insisted that the posture is the foundation of practice and that it is extremely necessary to build it correctly. nine0003

“This pose was given to them!” – I thought, being separated from the body, in the vacuum of “pure” thinking.

I thought and thought until it dawned on me - everything about me, and not just my mind. Until I experienced this importance with all my bones and pulsations.

The posture is important, because on the one hand, on the lower side, it grounds and roots us, and on the other hand, through stretching the spine upwards, it creates an experience of alertness, vigilance, wakefulness and self-reliance.

That is, close contact with the support gives us stability, which, in turn, allows us to calm down and relax more, and the straightened spine does not allow us to relax enough to fall into a doze. And this is exactly the desired state of balance, which is important for us in formal meditation. nine0003

I repeat once again that this is the state of both the body and consciousness at the same time. And with training, it comes faster and faster, to the point that we just have to sit in this position - and we find the right balance. I call it "container".

And then we can witness the whole process that takes place inside the “container” – in bodily sensations, feelings, changing states and thoughts. In this basic balanced state, it is easier for us to contact the flow of changing experiences, to stay inside it. nine0003

This “container of a well-formed posture” by itself somewhat calms the internal whirlwinds, and if we don't do anything else on purpose after assuming this posture, then a certain level of calmness gradually comes by itself.

It's like putting a glass of water on the table. At first, when you poured water, held a glass in your hand, there was a certain movement in it, but when you put it down, it gained a solid support and if you do nothing with it, then gradually the water calms down by itself. nine0003

So, posture is a glass, and consciousness is water. Take care of the glass, nothing needs to be done with water.

Of course, without habit it can be difficult to sit and do nothing, so at first concentration techniques can help to calm you down more. That is, we can offer ourselves some kind of object to which attention could return as an anchor.

And again, it's good if it is bodily: breathing, the posture itself, a feeling of support, or a part of the body with fairly pronounced sensations in it (hands, for example). nine0003

It is to this chosen anchor that we can constantly return our attention, no matter how many times it is distracted.

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Something next

So what about thoughts, what to do with them?


Just notice and do nothing about them.

If you get bogged down in them, immersed, then at the moment you discover your immersion, acknowledge it and see what happens next. What will be next.

There is always something next – at least the next thought that you cannot get rid of thoughts. nine0003

And in this next one, you can either gently bring your attention back to your chosen focus, or you can continue to sit and do nothing special - just sit, just be in contact with something next that will come to your attention on its own.

But the most important thing is to be in touch with the very process of awareness. Then you will be able to notice your convictions, beliefs, inner impulses, hopes and fears.

It is the latter that is most important for practical life, because in this way we do not just train focusing on an object, but we build a fairly stable field of awareness, a space of awareness, if you like. nine0003

After all, in order to learn to let go, we first need to learn to notice that everything is leaving anyway, that everything is in motion and you basically cannot hold anything. But this movement can only take place in space.


You know, Viktor Frankl said that there is space between a stimulus and our response to it. And in this space is the possibility of choosing our response to the stimulus.

When unwelcome thoughts come to you, it is a stimulus, and this stimulus is followed by your immediate reaction - another thought fighting the first. nine0003

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“You shouldn't have been here ,” the second thought yells at the first, “ how dare you do this without my permission! I'm meditating here! I want to immerse myself in blissful peace and quiet! I want to take a break from all of you – foolish thoughts, fears, worries, anxieties…”

And this is what is called getting hooked. And the more you try to unhook, the more internal tension and disturbance you create: your glass shakes and shakes, the water waves and waves. And you have no space, no gap between the stimulus in the form of one thought and the response in the form of another. nine0003

Therefore, the only thing that can be done here is to become aware of the space around this bundle of thoughts-feelings. And to be this space, and to return and return to this slightly wider than the thoughts-feelings themselves, the space of awareness. Gradually, with practice, it will expand and, you see, will turn into infinity, because it is infinity.

And the body, its support - the container I spoke about above - will provide invaluable support in this process of spatial awareness. nine0003


But of course we need to be patient.

The practice of meditation is not a crash course in getting rid of problems. It is a daily procedure of meeting ourselves as we are, meeting life as it is. It is not a practice of reaching, it is a practice of staying. Practice for life, like washing for life, eating for life, changing day and night for life, breathing for life.

But in this “meeting as it is”, of course, we can detect changes, and by returning to the quality of presence more often, we can deepen the experience of this presence. nine0003

In meditation, at least in the form that I practice and teach, we do not look inside ourselves for some beautiful place where we can hide from thoughts, worries and anxieties. No, such a place simply does not exist.

However, since thoughts are ephemeral and anxieties are transient, then gradually, with practice, we begin to notice that they seem to become more transparent and more and more often there are periods when they do not arise at all. Over time, they naturally fade on their own. And what does not fade, we begin to see as a not very interesting movie and just let it scroll. nine0003


As a result, I just want to say that in order to be able to let go of anything - thoughts, feelings, children, husbands, wives, pigeons, boats, balloons ... - we need only two characteristics:

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1. Support so that you don't get carried away.

2. The space where to let go.

These two characteristics are already given to us by life. They are always present. We need to train our ability to notice them.

Just in case, here I tell and show all the same:

I'm just talking here, not showing anything:

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All the best to you, and I hope to see you next time.
And remember: in every moment you have a choice - make the best one.
Now go and meditate!

Body practice that will help to let go of the past

0024 psychology . As you know, we tend to suppress negative emotions rather than live through them. All fears, anxieties , grievances are reborn as if at the snap of fingers because of a small trigger, and this greatly interferes with life. But it turns out that a simple bodily practice (namely, eye movement) can help you let go of the experience forever. How it works? Tells Maria Mazurina , psychologist, president of the International Association of Experts on Neurosis (IANE), member of the American Psychological Association (APA), member of the Association for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (ACPT). nine0024

How this technique appeared

In 1987, Francine Shapiro, an American, was going through difficult times in her life: cancer, divorce, career failure. She often walked in the park, thinking about her problems. On one of those days, Francine was watching the clouds and noticed that she was getting better - negative emotions were becoming less vivid and intense.

She became interested in this phenomenon, began to study psychology, and later conducted a number of large-scale studies. As a result, a mechanism for processing negative emotions through eye movement was revealed. This phenomenon formed the basis of her approach, which was called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). nine0003


What is the essence of

The approach is based on stimulating the cerebral hemispheres with oculomotor muscles. This is called bilateral stimulation. Let's explain in simpler words: when we look to the right, the left hemisphere of the brain is activated, when we look to the left, the right hemisphere is activated. The alternating activation of the left and right hemispheres, in turn, activates the process of information processing. If at the same time we remember a negative situation in the past, the corresponding neural network becomes active, and the situation is worked out. nine0003

It has been experimentally proved that such processing of information is natural for a person: at the stage of REM sleep, the same spontaneous eye movements are noted. This explains the fact that in the morning you usually relate much more easily to the events of yesterday. Thus, the saying “Morning is wiser than evening” is the result of such a mechanism.

When to use

But in extremely stressful situations, negative emotions are so strong that they cannot be processed during sleep. In this case, they are forced out and "encapsulated". In such a canned form, emotions can be stored for a very long time. The task of this technique is to reveal all the problems hidden in the bowels of our psyche, because an unworked stressful situation of the past negatively affects a person’s life in the present. nine0003


This method works effectively with a wide range of queries. Its use is indicated in the treatment of any traumatic episodes, fears and phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, depression , insomnia, addiction , resentment, jealousy parting, obsessive thoughts divorce, loss. The key point is the emotional charge of the situation - the method does not erase what happened from memory, but reduces sensitivity to the event. nine0003

There are a number of contraindications: pathology of the oculomotor muscles, acute physical discomfort, epilepsy, hypertension, pre-infarction and pre-stroke conditions, pregnancy and any conditions in which it is necessary to avoid stress.

How to use the technique yourself

  • It is better to start work in a calm and resourceful state. To select a situation, you can ask yourself questions: “What was the worst event in my life?”, “When did I experience the most fear, anger, guilt, shame?”. Once the situation is defined, rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, where 0 is completely calm and 10 is the maximum intensity of the emotion. This will help you evaluate your progress. nine0388
  • When the situation is determined, proceed with the execution. Sit comfortably. Take a few slow breaths in and out. Relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Look straight ahead. Without turning your head, look with your eyes for the extreme point to your right. Move your gaze to the extreme point on the left. Repeat the movement of the eyes: to the right - to the left. Movements should be as fast as possible, but comfortable.
  • The technique is performed in several approaches. In one approach, it is necessary to make 25-30 eye movements in both directions. This takes approximately one minute. Set a timer, start moving your eyes and remember the negative situation. After one minute, close your eyes, take a few smooth breaths. Open your eyes and then repeat the exercise. nine0388


Peculiarities of practice

We perceive a situation in three dimensions — it is stored in memory as a collection of pictures, sounds, emotions, sensations in the body, and conclusions about ourselves. The result of the technique will be higher if you remember the situation, changing the focus of attention.

Start with a visual image of the situation. If the situation is very traumatic, imagine that you are watching what is happening on a large TV screen, or discolor the picture. Imagine events from the moment of complete well-being to the denouement of the situation. Do two or three sets of one minute. nine0003

Add to the picture the sounds that surrounded you at that moment. Do two or three more sets. Remembering the situation again, shift the focus to your emotions, to the sensations in your body. Do a few more times. Think about the negative conclusion you made about yourself in this situation, and formulate it in the form of a self-image. For example, “I am worthless”, “I am helpless”. Start again mentally scrolling through the picture of the situation, saying this installation to yourself. Consider what setup you would like to replace it with. For example, “I am worthy of love”, “I can handle it”. Again imagine the image of the situation by saying a positive affirmation to yourself. nine0003

After completing the technique, close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Thank yourself for your work. With your eyes open, look at the objects that surround you and name them.


In order to assess the result of the performed technique, mentally imagine the situation again and evaluate the intensity of emotions about it on a ten-point scale. Notice how much progress the practice has made. nine0024

About the effectiveness of the technique

EMDR has been recognized by the UK National Institutes of Health and Clinical Excellence as one of two proven psychological approaches. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is actively used throughout the world. The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia applies this approach in the first line when working with victims of extreme situations.

The advantage of this practice is its short duration. Studies conducted by the International Association of Experts in Neurosis (IANE) have shown that four consultations using the EMDR method give the same result as 14 consultations in the Gestalt approach and 136 consultations in psychoanalysis. nine0003

By applying this method, you can leave the past behind you forever and move on to a qualitatively new level of living your life.

Psychology Psychology Health

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