By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I talked about why we have negative thinking patterns, how to start to change them, and a few replacement patterns we might try instead. (See notes below.)
I’ve broken this webinar recording into three parts:
- Part I – Meditation & Talk: A short meditation, & my talk on negative thinking patterns and how to use mindfulness to change them. (See notes)
- Part II – Retreat: I spoke for a few minutes about a mindfulness retreat I’m holding in April, and my plans to hold more retreats in the future.
- Part III – Questions & Answers: I answered questions on whether negative thoughts are real, people attacking you in front of others, not recognizing your negative thinking, having a healthy relationship with a negative person, self-criticism with negative projects, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
- I shared a meditation about turning towards negative feelings, going into the body, staying with the physical feeling, touching on the tender heart below that, and even exploring the openness that’s beneath the tender heart.
- I shared why these kinds of thinking habits are advanced habit skills, and aren’t recommended for starting with.
- I talked about why we have negative thoughts, and what effects they have on our happiness, relationships, and the people around us.
- I shared how to deal with negative thoughts and emotions, and begin to build awareness of their symptoms and the physical feelings themselves.
- I talked about how to develop awareness of our negative mental patterns.
- I focused on the moment of the mental patterns starting, and how this is the magical moment when we have the option of changing.
- I shared a couple of alternate patterns that we can do instead of the old negative mental patterns.
- I shared my current practice, of seeing everything and everyone as enlightened, and how this transforms my experience, turning towards all things rather than away from them.
Part II: Leo’s Upcoming Retreats
In this short segment, I use a few minutes’ of downtime to talk about an upcoming retreat (and more) that I’m planning to announce soon:
- Zen Habits Mindfulness Retreat
- April 21-23
- In San Francisco
- To be announced this month, probably
Part III: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- I struggle with the notion of thoughts are just thoughts, they’re not real. In fact, some negative things are very real, bad things do happen and they’re not just a thought. Any thoughts?â€¨
- How do you deal with people who are actively working against you and attacking you in front of others? For example, work meeting where 2 people are trying to convince their boss.â€¨
- I’m so used to my negative thinking that I don’t even recognize I’m doing it. What do you suggest to make myself more aware of this constant din?
- â€¨â€¨What to do when a person is mean, demanding, judgmental – over and over. How do you have a healthy relationship with that person?â€¨â€¨
- Have you heard that happiness is a gene? My partner is always happy no matter what and I have constantly work on it. But your course helps me a lotâ€¨â€¨
- Writing: How to maintain focus and really engage/get past starting the activity both tedious, challenging, need to organize many details, feel restless/anxious–hard to really engage in it.â€¨â€¨
- I have struggled with self-criticism regarding starting/finishing creative projects. How do you deal with the negative association of feeling negativity every time you think about trying after failing to finish/start over and over?â€¨â€¨
- How can I track progress in reducing negative thinking? Any metrics?â€¨â€¨