“I’m plagued by unwanted thoughts every day all the time… My brain constantly sees stories and things that never happened but they’re very vivid… like having a movie in the background with the volume way up… I’m constantly in fear of getting hurt and fear of pain. Now I’ll admit this could have to do with some events in my life but long story short I am constantly on a hair trigger to snap because I’m afraid of getting hurt… but this always ends up firing off at the wrong people… Help me.”
Weed your garden
Basic info — you’ve got a weedy garden. Actually it’s well overgrown, more like a jungle :-) The analogy of mind to garden is very accurate. Thoughts are like seeds and you unwittingly plant and nurture weeds, before long you’ve got a jungle. This is the basic problem, good to know…
The dream of ego… or nightmare
Now thinking becomes over-dominant. As children we didn’t think much, our experience was mainly of being, not thinking. But then we think more and more and are encouraged by schools and so-on. And worse, we begin to identify with all this thinking, making a self out of it. After a while, there is hardly any being left, only thinking, rapidly firing thought habits that we identify with.
Thinking as a habit — don’t go there, go here
So thinking becomes habit and habits effortlessly repeat. And the more busy our lives get, the more stressful, the more we need to think in order to sort out the mess and stay on top. Playfulness goes out the window because that is spontaneous and relies on being. So the remedy is to go back to being and make that a habit. A habit to exit habit and get back to being. Happy Guide has the simple ways to do this.
Meaning dictates response
Now the maze of madness (yes that’s what it is although it’s very “normal”) grows out of control, we get lost in all this thinking, it gets more and more confusing and we give meaning to stuff that really has no meaning. Meaning dictates how your mind responds and the greatest meaning you can give is fear…
What you fear, you notice everywhere
Fear means “danger” to your mind, and so it appears vividly in your experience, you notice it everywhere, look out for it, associate it with lots of things — sights, sounds, events.
Re-frame your fear
You can re-frame fear using logic, you look at the fear coldly, in the cold light of day and look at the facts. No one else is constantly fearing pain, that’s curious, maybe it’s dysfunctional? So, what is a better way to be? What if this fear just was not there? Would that be better? So you have a thought process that deconstructs whatever belief you have that supports the idea that you need to fear pain and get to a place where you are ready to let go. And that means being really clear about your new truth, thereby removing all meaning it has and then ignoring every thought or feeling to do with it — why would you give a second thought to something that has no meaning?
Mind is complex, but running it is simple
As I say, Happy Guide has all the tools for getting back to sanity, simple stuff actually but it’s really missing information that we could all do with learning when we’re about 5 years old. It’s basically all about returning to being, and then being able to think consciously, so that you never again get a weedy garden or confuse your self with mere thoughts.
Stay calm and carry on
If you’re on a hair-trigger, then you’re bound to be hyper-reactive but all the tools I’ve talked about will affect you positively so that you will gradually return to a natural state of relaxation, no hair-trigger. In fact you can get so masterful over your mind, that nothing disturbs your peace at all and so that you always have choice. So you become nonreactive… cool. If you think about all those cool movie heroes, that’s the quality they all have… nonreactive, always able to choose.
Everything affects everything else
Ultimately every problem has many causes because everything affects everything else. To get to happiness, to always feel good, you need to address all factors that are playing into the problem. It turns out that every problem has the same causes — not living right and not thinking right.
So, the Happy Guide way is to correct the causes of problems and put the causes of happiness in place every day, to learn to live right and to think right. That’s what’s going to get the job done, and not only will it solve this problem but will prevent other problems popping up in future.
Please leave a comment if you need more clarity :-)
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
It’s a simple, no-fluff guide that shows you both what to change and how to change.