Derail the Negative Thoughts


Every cancer survivor has days when negative thoughts take over. Why not use visualization of video games to get rid of the self-defeating ideas?

As a former counselor, I used cognitive therapy with my clients. The brain can’t handle two thoughts at the same time — although these thoughts can occur very close together. However, therapy works to replace negative thoughts with positive ones immediately. This may help a person gain self-esteem and hope.

Let’s concentrate for a little bit on the negative thoughts. We need to derail and destroy the bad before we replace with the good. I am a firm believer in visualization. Picture a train suddenly going off the tracks. You do not want an accident in real life, but you want them in your negative thoughts.

The next time your thoughts are going down a rabbit hole, get that train off the track and picture a new train chugging ahead happily with all the good things in life.

Even though I don’t play video games or know much about them, I know that some games involve shooting and blowing up pictures on the screen. This concept can be applied to our thoughts when we feel depressed.

Recently, I was overtired and attempting to take a nap. Without warning, I started to think about my beloved 15-year-old service dog passing away. BAM! I exploded that thought with a blast. That negative cycle continued. I thought about how my doctor told me I may be going out of remission. KA-POW! I visualized fireworks blowing that idea right off my brain. I wondered what would happen if I got so sick that I couldn’t take care of myself. WHAM! A huge hammer came down and pounded that idea into the ground.

Gradually, I relaxed, breathed deeply on my brand-new mattress, and enjoyed the gentle breeze of my ceiling fame installed for me by two wonderful friends from church. I dozed off happily.

Everyone experiences negative thoughts that come from nowhere. Patients with cancer have realistic fears. Although counselors talk about positive thoughts replacing the negative, I was never told how to destroy the negative ones before they take hold. So, my friends, work on hammering, whamming and exploding those intimidating fears until they are gone. It makes us feel better and hopefully brings us peace of mind, which is priceless.

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