How to get rid of dark thoughts

Nicole asks…

“Wow, I’m so glad I found this website because I’m literally going crazy. Okay, so I’m 18 and my issue all started out with anxiety due to some things, where I started thinking about all these ways I could die, etc…

When that phase passed I was just sitting in my room studying when my sister was listening to some song where it mentioned the devil. I started to think about all those movies I’ve watched, from all the exorcism movies to the paranormal movies and so on. I’ve watched them all because I loved watching horror movies! God knows why. So I started thinking these intense thoughts how that could happen to me, how all those movies were based on a true story, etc.

I get scared even more when I start thinking that me constantly THINKING about it, makes me IMAGINE something, or in some way call out “the bad energies” or whatever…

I’ve seen in a comment on your “scary movie” post where someone as getting up at 3am. I’ve also heard that that’s when the gates of hell open or something, so when I get up during the night the first thing I do is look at the clock, when it’s 3 am I freak out.

I’ve had panic attacks, anxiety attacks, you name it just because of this. I’ve been to counseling and other professional people, but yet no one actually gave me good advice except for breathing techniques that DID help, but the thoughts are still there. I try not to think about it… but if you tell yourself for ex: ‘don’t think about the pig’, you think about the pig, right? :P Please help me :(“

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Okay… so… ATTENTION is the volume control for thoughts. That’s the root cause. You’ve been giving attention and meaning to dark thoughts so it’s no surprise that it’s those thoughts that are rattling around your head, and surface on a regular basis…

Not thinking about it is the right thing to do, and also to SEE clearly that attention and MEANING makes thoughts grow. So your attitude is also important and the right attitude is “don’t care.” Whatever comes related to all this horror… “don’t care” then remove attention and all that amounts to ignoring, consistently.

Do the gates of hell open at 3am? NOOO! That’s an example of giving meaning, giving truth and worst of all, giving FEAR to a thought can cause a mental nightmare. Now the first thing you do if you wake up is look at the clock… because you made it IMPORTANT, you feared it and so it’s right there in the forefront of your mind.

The only bad energy you call forth is the bad energy you feel when thinking dark thoughts, but you are in control so make a clear and calm decision… “I will not feed my mind any more horror, I will not think about this or any related subject any more.”

Don’t think of a pig yes, or what we like to call “the pink elephant” :-) Can’t be done can it? The trick is to put your attention somewhere else. So if I say “Don’t think of a pig” you immediately think of a cow. That’s the only way to keep piggy out!

So make this decision “NO MORE” and if it pops into your mind, have a don’t care attitude and put attention elsewhere.

Now drop THE PROBLEM because that is more attention. The end-goal is that these thoughts aren’t there and you’re not even aware they’re not there, they’re just NOT THERE.

For that to happen, remove meaning and attention every time a thought pops, give these thoughts the cold, cold, shoulder.

If any thoughts FEEL true, FEEL like they demand attention, then use reason at first to see… “It’s just a silly movie” “The 3am thing is garbage, I’m totally safe.” Thoughts aren’t true, they come with the quality you previously gave, that is all. So thoughts that seem true get told a new truth “Silly movie” etc, every time they come. And soon enough, you’ll see that the idea of 3am, rather than feel true feels like a lie, because that’s the new quality you now give repeatedly because of your new understanding. And it is a lie, so you’re safe to give it that quality.

Dark thought >> new truth if needed >> don’t care attitude >> remove attention quickly. Repeat until forgotten.

And… stop putting dark thoughts IN and then dark thoughts won’t come OUT. Garbage in, garbage out.

Oh and… these so called “based on a true story movies”… NOT TRUE, that’s all you need to know, trust me, they’re not true and you can trust that.

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

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35 thoughts on “How to get rid of dark thoughts

  1. Hi Amanda, the trick is to “reach the point of letting go” and from that point, ignore every thought about it consistently. You reach the point of letting go by understanding that there is nothing to fear, that the fear you feel is just a primitive way the brain works and that it is not serving you in this case. Once you are clear, then the understanding trumps the fear. Every time it comes, you just remember your understanding and focus attention somewhere else.

    I’ve explained more about irrational fear here: https://happy.guide/2011/12/07/irrational-fear/

    Have a read of that, and it will give you the understanding of why we have irrational fear.

    So once you are happy that you don’t need all these thoughts, then simply ignoring all of them tells your unconscious mind that the “danger” is gone, and they will stop coming

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  2. Hello Micheal, i have read the comment you gave nicole, that’s exactly what is happening with me (not the part waking up at 3am however having a lot of dark thoughts), i keep imaging things and that something is behind me or looking at me, it’s really creepy, i even start running by myself.
    If i tried to talk with someone about it they will think i am silly,, i am gonna try the advice you gave nicole cause this is really annoying, i wish i don’t have this phobia.. is there any thing else i can do about it,, please advice :(

    Thank you

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  3. I never watch horror movies (I am 12) and I still am getting things like an orc/demon getting a dagger plunged straiht through his head and yes… (*-*) happens!

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  4. Gahhh,i know i shouldn’t pay attention to it,but like i said my problem is that i look at it like something that actually happens to people,and after seeing that website where people were saying how they were scared of the same thing and this one girl heard growling when she would say “Jesus Christ” that was it for me..that triggered this whole other fear on another level.I just feel like i’m losing it

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    1. DECIDE… NO MORE ATTENTION. That is all you need to do. Like you say, this thing triggered your mind to recall it all, give it meaning, ramp it up.

      You have the power of choice and you choose with your attention.

      That’s all you really need to know Nicole. No attention, it doesn’t exist, it has no life. You can’t forget something if you keep giving it attention.

      It’s all garbage, just simply TRUST that, and now, remove all attention.

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  5. Hi again,i’ll be purchasing the Happy Guide pretty soon but in the meantime i decided to write to you since i have no idea why i got really scared again yesterday and today it’s even worse.I took this book my mom said it would be good for me to read,”The power of positive thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale,and found this chapter “how to get rid of the worry habit”…i was reading it until it came up to this part and i quote : “Fear something over a long period of time and there is a real possibility that by fearing yo may actually help bring it to pass”.This totally freaked me out and from then on i’ve been feeling really weird…kind of dizzy,almost like i’m floating, hm,kind of hard to explain.I got so freaked out that i decided to check up “fear of demons” on the internet..and I KNOW i shouldn’t of done that,because now it has scared me even more,since i found some fourm where some people were talking about their experiences…and also said that fear is the thing that draws it to you.Now i’m more scared than ever and my problem is that i look at that happening as a possibility. I litterally don’t know what to do anymore,and I know that this might be funny to some people. It’ll probably be funny to me with time,but right now it’s just so real and frightening.I haven’t seen any ghosts,demons,ect…but i don’t know why i have this constant fear and why it went away for a few weeks and came back all of the sudden.Like i said,my problem is that i look at it as being real,and i know know how to look at it as being non existent and makebelive.

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    1. Hi Nicole,

      Yes we do create what we fear but not in your case. What this means is that say by fearing that your boyfriend will cheat on you, it changes the way you interact in such a way that you will begin to bring about the thing you fear. What you fear, you notice, it dominates your awareness.

      You are creating the thing you fear in the sense that your life is currently dominated by this idea, and you will start to associate it with things, events more and more. And so it becomes your reality in that sense. Your life is really the total of what you have been aware of, your experience. And as you continue to fear this, pay attention, give it meaning, then that is your experience.

      Re-framing your thoughts around this is good to do. If you can strip away the beliefs then it’s a lot easier to let go because you just won’t pay attention to something that meaningless. But re-framing is hard, I would need to talk to you, perhaps for a long time, to help you to see it as meaningless. The quicker way is to simply TRUST me that you are safe to let this go. Just trust me that it’s all meaningless. And then faith is rewarded by experience. You will gradually calm down, thoughts will die-away and soon enough become like a distant memory.

      The only thing you need to do right now as I’ve said a few times, is to DECIDE to drop it. Nothing bad will happen — trust me. And then remove attention, which means pay attention to OTHER STUFF.

      Seriously… you need to get this out of your thinking, your awareness, your experience. DECIDE to do it, then simply do it by removing meaning and attention every single time. It’s THAT simple. It has no meaning because I said so, so trust THAT, it’s the fastest way. Then starve the whole thing of attention.

      Without your attention, where is it?

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