“I’ve been suffering from a suspicious nature for many years, not trusting people etc. This problem has given me so many problems in life and it’s still giving me problems. A few days back a weird thought came into my mind about my girlfriend, that she was lying to me about something, or more like hiding something and I started thinking about it and this started to grow in my mind.
Then I contacted James, he helped me to remove attention from it. Somehow I asked my girlfriend about it and she was angry and told me it was just a silly thought.
I know she was speaking the truth but somehow I wasn’t able to trust her I don’t know why, despite the fact that trust is the most important factor in relationship. She loves me a lot, and I also love her but whenever this thought comes to my mind I get in a bad mood and start to repeat ‘don’t focus on ideas you don’t want’ in my mind and starts to feel good but still focus remains there somehow, on the weird thought. Could you help me to solve this thing Mike?”
Deconstruct belief to let go
Do you fully know that this is just a silly thought? Or are you still questioning its truth? Attention is the volume control for thoughts, so if you consistently remove attention as James said, it would die away and stop coming. But if you believe it’s true or question its truth or meaning, give it importance then that is attention. Attention with meaning ramps ups a thought’s volume very quickly…
Faith in removing attention will work, ignoring will work because ignore has “don’t care” built in and this attitude reprograms your mind that this thought has no meaning.
But if you can truly SEE the thought as silly, remove the belief, the meaning, it will help, because why would you give a second thought to something meaningless?
Shock makes thoughts linger
If you were shocked by having this thought, and perhaps the stress of the upcoming wedding played its part, then your mind behaves in a certain instinctive way. The thoughts tend to hang around and dominate your awareness, tricky to take attention away. If you can’t look away, then look AT. Either way just look, do not engage. This thought wants to be looked at because of the initial shock around it. Then try ignoring it and see what happens.
The finish line
The finish line is that it isn’t there, and you’re not aware it isn’t there, it just isn’t there.
So, ignore every occurrence of the thought, give it the cold shoulder. And like I said, if it’s dominating your awareness, look AT for 5 or 10 seconds “Sigh, I see you, yes, nice, thanks, but you’re sill meaningless :-)” — you don’t need to say the words, this is the attitude — then again, try to look away.
And be sure to use all the other Happy Guide tools to make sure you’re in the best shape physically and mentally. You have a tendency for mistrust, so use all the Happy Guide tools and you will overcome it. There are a thousand problems with one solution, including the problem of mistrust.
The goal is happiness. A happy biochemistry makes happy thoughts. Everything affects everything else — thought problems don’t exist in isolation from whether you slept well, ate well, got some exercise, meditated and how many worries you have. It all matters, it all plays its part.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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