SIMPLY WITNESS ANY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Witnessing your thoughts means just that. You notice a negative self-belief (oh I can’t do that, I am utterly hopeless, why can’t I be as good as …, if only I wasn’t so …, I am so stupid ………) and you remain dispassionate.
Just observe the thought without adding to its weight. In other words retain your objectivity by being aware of the negativity without giving yourself extra grief by further criticism. Self-awareness is a powerful tool for self-change and sometimes becoming aware of a bad mental habit is all we need in order to change. However you might be surprised to notice that the first flash of self-awareness is quickly followed by another thought which will be making a judgement of some sort (that is so negative, there I am at it again bringing myself down, when I am going to stop doing this …). Witness this too and remain detached otherwise you can see where this is going to take you.
- I notice myself getting panicky in a social setting.
- I tell myself that I am just too shy and that I must get a grip.
- I witness this and then I have a split second choice: to be angry with myself even further (and compound the panic) or to just witness this also.
Witnessing creates some space and freedom for us when we are looking at our negativity. It gives us the chance to stop being totally reactive to our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Instead of becoming totally overwhelmed we can watch, observe and then maybe even find some compassion for ourselves.
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