Many thoughts just won't stop! They consume us. They're what one author, Barbara Ireland, calls "mind loops": things we play over and over in our minds -- a repetitious way of rumination that's a waste of time and energy and emotion and may even redound negatively as far as your afterlife.
Saints called it the "interior life" and monitored their thoughts closely. They learned to step back to watch and listen to themselves.
Do you watch you? Can you set a distance and observe what and how and why you're thinking whatever it is you're thinking?
For miracles may reside in just such a perspective, in just such detachment.
So many thoughts! Detach.
As Barbara notes (in How To Stop Negative Thoughts), the average person has 60,000 thoughts every day. Sixty thousand! Subtracting for sleep, that means, on average, 3,750 thoughts every waking hour. And a whopping ninety percent of those thoughts are mental loops: repetitions. We think the same things over and over and over and over!
Next question: how many of those do you think are negative?
Answer: seventy percent. Seven out of ten!
Negative mental loops can be thoughts that are relentlessly pessimistic, depressive, anxious, fearful, paranoid, neurotic, lustful, possessive, valetudiniarian, self-condemning, critical, impatient, irritated, hateful, resentful, vindictive, jealous, unforgiving.
Hypochondria? Seething dislike?
They must be banished! They can bring what we fear! Fear can be a magnet. ("Disquieting thoughts," says Job 20:2, "because of my inward agitation.")
Wrong repetition can be like water dripping on rock: eventually it will cause erosion; eventually it will be permanently etched in.
And they can come from the enemy.
In fact, many of our thoughts are not actually ours, but planted by forces of befuddlement and oppression and obsession: in a word, demons. This of course is the opposite of what the Holy Spirit sends.
What does a loop remind one of if not a snake?
The correct loop is the Rosary and the best way of handling negative thoughts is immediately saying a Hail Mary for whoever or whatever pops into mind. This can change your life. Pray without ceasing. "Lord, break that loop. Put a new and right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).
("When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul," Psalms 94:19.)
Often when you immediately think of the negative instead of the positive, when you think ill of yourself or someone else, as a matter of reflex, a demon is there twisting things. He is causing the obsession, the knot. He wants distress (and high blood pressure).
Break the loop in the Name of Jesus, or it will bind you. Our Lady is Undoer of Knots. During the prayer, you'll be amazed to feel love flow toward whomever you are praying for (and no matter how you feel about the person) if you pray as soon as you think of a person (instead of analyzing him, or her).
When we think of ourselves or others in a negative way we insert darkness into God's design instead of the light He desires from us, we let our face "be pale" (Daniel 5:10.). If the negativity is directed at ourselves, we hold ourselves back; we don't realize the things -- the joy -- that God planned for us. And when we think negatively of others: this is counter-love; it is also a bit of a curse; it can hold them back. It has to be rectified or we answer for it. ("For the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts," 1 Chronicles 28:9).
We wonder why we're oppressed or down or stuck in place and it's mind loops; why we get ill; why we toss and turn at night!
We're caught in negative mind loops instead of going with the flow and cerebrations and celebration of the Holy Spirit.
When you have repeated negative thoughts about something or someone (including and even especially yourself), step back and cast out any spirit that may be behind it; to repeat, say that Hail Mary. Soon doing so will be second nature to you.
Soon, you will feel a new level of happiness -- and open the way for the miraculous.
Just do it. On the other side you will review your life and see what you missed because you held yourself back.
If the majority of your thoughts were positive -- supportive, optimistic -- where might you go? How far might you rise? Is it really any fun (beyond the initial evil tang) to hover over critical thoughts about or the misfortunes of others?
A powerful tool, this is: erasing every negative inclination through Mary.
Don't be fooled by the enemy. When you have joy, hurdles shrink; you jump higher; life is an exciting challenge instead of drudgery. Break the hold, in the Name of Jesus. Let this be the mind loop. ("Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved," says Jeremiah 4:14. "How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?")
If you have repetitious thoughts that are evil toward others, treat them as coming from evil spirits. Banish every one!
And rest your weary (but content) head in the lap of the Blessed Mother, with thanks, when that's done.