How to eliminate negative thoughts during meditation
Thinking is a natural function of having a functional brain. And having negative thoughts and emotions during meditation is very common. We all have them from time to time. Especially when we are starting out meditating. But we have techniques that can help us when these negative thoughts and emotions arise. And our main technique is returning our attention to our breathing to get back to our present moment awareness. And as always, we have to be kind to ourselves when we meditate.
Meditation is about present moment awareness. And when negative thoughts and emotions appear, your mind have wandered off and left your present moment awareness. Your mind is now occupied with something from the past or worrying about the future.
Often, we are not aware of our thoughts habits. We are not aware of our state of mind until we take a step back from our senses, as we do when we meditate, and start observing our stream of thoughts and emotions.
We don’t fight our negative thoughts. Remember, we are kind to ourselves during meditation. Thoughts are just thoughts. They come. They pass. Thoughts is not the truth. And your thoughts are not you. You mind is the observer of the thoughts. So, when a negative thought or emotion appears, just notice and accept it – don’t try to control it and don’t judge yourself. Just observe your thoughts and emotions without judgement and let them effortlessly pass by. And then return your awareness to your breath. If a thought gets stuck in your mind and it gets overwhelming, gently stop your meditation and slowly open your eyes to see that everything fine and you are in a safe place.
Another simple and effective and useful technique is to gently scratch the palms of your hands with your fingernail. Place your palms on your lap with each hand upwards and pay attention to the sensation as it fades. You will notice that this takes a minute or two before the sensations disappear completely. When ready, gently return your awareness to your breath and your present moment awareness. When you are breathing through your nose notice that the air is a little bit warmer on exhale than on inhale. Let your breathing find its own natural rhythm, slowly and effortlessly without controlling it. Your natural breathing rhythm can change during meditation, and this is perfectly normal.
We always return our awareness to our breath when our mind wanders. By gently and effortlessly returning our awareness to our breath, we return to our present moment awareness. The more experienced we are as meditators, the easier it gets. To learn meditation, we need to practice. Like anything else in life.
If your negative thoughts and emotions continues, I’ll recommend that you talk to a therapist or counselor to get the right kind of support.