The first thing to know is how long has that negative emotion like anger for example has been there. How long have you been depressed? Some people would say that they have been depressed all their life. Others would say, I have been depressed for one month since my mother died.
Second, you need to know how strong that thought is. The strength of the thought depends on how frequent it comes to you.
Third, what is the nature of the negative thought. And you need to memorize the main ones.
One is anger, which comes from desire unfulfilled. The little children of anger are frustration, irritation, rage annoyance, annoyed, resentment. Thoughts have different power. Rage is very strong but annoyance and irritation not so strong.
The other one is fear. Fear comes from attachment. You want something. You get attached to it and you are afraid to lose. The ramifications are worry, anxiety, shyness, panic attacks, overwhelmed, terror.
How do you counteract desire unfulfilled? There are many ways but there is one very direct. You translate the words into the opposite. So it will be count your blessings or you can say contentment. Sometimes people say patient. But patient does not really go to the root of it. It only negotiates it. Like you don’t get it now you will get it later.
You counteract fear, which comes from attachment with detachment, letting go. For example, if the wife is afraid the husband will leave her, because attachment comes from the idea this he is the source of her happiness. You are attached to something external. That person has to let go of the idea of the husband is the source of happiness and to realize it will not be here forever. So she needs to detach from it and somehow the love will remain but it is not distorted. Swami Vishnudevananda used to say if you are afraid of speaking in public then the first thing you need to is to speak in public. Confront your fear do the opposite. And detach from the idea of people liking you or not liking you. You have to let go of that. If people don’t like me, fine. If people don’t like me, fine. I am who I am. That is how you have to confront it.
Another big one is hatred. Hatred comes from the opposite of love. Love is our true nature. If you don’t love somebody it drains all your energy. It kills you. The hatred of somebody in your system you become sick sooner or later. It will block life and love is life and life is love.
Jealousy comes from the idea that I should have that. Jealousy and envy – You have to know love is eternal and it is not in the person. Comes from not knowing your own karma your own situation and thinking of something that is completely ungrounded something that I should have. Jealousy and greed come from a lack of assessment of your own karma. The opposite is acceptance, contentment.
The next one is pride – Pride comes from the ego – intellect or ego of wealth. You build up your ego. Let’s say you have wealth and you are proud of it. You have intellect and you are proud of it. You are talented and you are proud of your talent. All these come from the ignorance of not knowing that all these talent did not come from you. It is the ego that identifies with it but it did not come from you. It came from God. You are being given this and it can be taken away. That is why people that are so proud get so humiliated because they think they are on to and then there will be situations with people better than themselves and the humiliation comes and resentment comes and anger. These things they do not come alone they are mixed up together. Anger, fear, resentment, and greed they are all messed up together. Swamiji used to say to treat pride like a balloon. So you need to take a little needle and pock in there. Accept that somebody will be better than you. Don’t think that you invincible. That is the ego, wrong thinking. Opposite is humility.
Obsession or delusion – means you take something and you think it is something else. They have not understanding at all. The emotions just create a story and they believe in it. It is misperception. Delusion means completely misinterpreting about things. Deluded people think so wrong. For example “I am a princess and everybody should serve me.” Or somebody may say, “I think all Muslims are bad.” That is completely deluded and a misperception. You need to reason to get out of the state of delusion. Opposite is you need to be able to think about with clarity
Greed – insatiable to fulfill yourself from the external the material. The mind is in the material world and they are not thinking of the spirit so they think the more they accumulate the material the more they are great. It is a distortion of the reason. They think they more they have the more they are powerful. It comes from insecurity. So you accumulate to feel stronger and the more you accumulate you become weaker.
Lust is the sexual desire and the sensual desire the passion that takes control completely. Lust is sexual energy that is not understood properly. The passion is not understood as divine. Sexual energy needs to be understood as divine which means it doesn’t belong to you. The same thing like your talents do not belong to you and you should not develop pride over them. Sexual is the divine energy that comes through you for the reason of procreation. If you understand it for what it is and don’t miss it with anything else like possession, love, anger. It is a spiritual energy that is powerful that can create life and you need to understand it and not use for your own gratification. Opposite of lust will be abstinence. When the passion is too strong you need to practice self-control.
Four different ways to be equipped with.
These are the yoga techniques of positive thinking or yoga psychology.
Raja Yoga. The teaching about the mind. The method is awareness. Know the nature of the though and then replace it with the opposite. Hatred replaced with love. Fear with courage. Greed with charity. Lust with chastity. You have to try many things it is like medicine you need to try this and see how it works. Sometimes it is combined methods. The thoughts in the mind are numerous. You need a toolbox. In a toolbox you have different things like hammer, nails, etc. People get stuck in situation because they use only one tool. Like whatever situation be angry. You know the thoughts. You know the thoughts are not you. You oppose them. That is one method. It takes a strong personality to do that. It is very difficult to do that. If you don’t have a strong personality then don’t do it. Then you need to take a simple method of God loves you. And remember that God is beautiful.
The other method of Raja Yoga is to be indifferent. That means know the thoughts come and go and they are not real. Notice them but carry on with your life and the thought will die on its own. It needs to be done with awareness of the negative thought but you are being indifferent to it. You don’t think too much of it.
Next is sublimation. It means instead of opposing it you are going to take the energy and transform it into some thing positive by channeling it. For example if the person is sad then sublimation will be singing positive love songs. Work can be sublimation. You have a work that you don’t like it then you do karma yoga. Transformation of energy.
Visualization: You know the mind works with names and forms then you use a visualization to see the situation different. If they are shy they can visualize them talking and expressing themselves freely. You need to have the image that represents what you want. See yourself very confident if you lack confidence. Positive visualization and positive affirmation. Repeat the positive affirmation many times a day. I am a powerful person. God has given me all the talents I need. Like this. It works like a miracle.
Concentration – The more thoughts that you have in mind the more the negative thoughts can happen. That means you need to have less thoughts. Reduction of thoughts. Live a simple life. Keep the mind engage in positive thoughts. The mind needs to be busy but not stress.
Relax technique. Do not try to change all the thoughts at the same time because it will not work and it will create negatives thoughts. You need to say everything is fine. I can change one thing at a time. Today you change one thoughts and that is a victory. Then again and again without giving up. You don’t wait till negative thoughts come. You need to do prevention. Cultivation of virtuous. You can chose a virtue for a day of the week. For example like Monday you practice courage. Tuesday you practice love. Wednesday you practice charity.
Cheerfulness the same of humor – That means in reality nothing matter everything is maya. Do not take yourself and the problems too seriously. Laugh about them and they will solve themselves. When you are able to laugh you get detachment.
Bhakti Yoga – Bhakti yoga is about God. Pray – Surrendering to God. God knows best. It is not my will it is God’s will. Instead of complaining surrender to God’s will. You need to refer to a bigger picture. Everything happens for the best.
Karma Yoga – Karma is related to action – Lot of negativity comes from the idea of controlling the action and a lot of work problems. Karma yoga is a good tool. I am not the doe. I am only the instrument. That means I offer the result of my work. So you become detach of your work. I am doing my duty. That means doing the best you can is the most important thing and offering the results. You let go. It prevents you from wanting to control. When trying to control you get a lot of negative emotions. Everyone has certain duty. The intention is what counts. Keep a good intention. What you do is not important. Put the identity in the right place – no attachment to your skill thinking that it is your value.
Jnana Yoga – This is the idea of truth and illusion and the Self as one. I am the Self of all – This too shall pass – The idea the world is an illusion – Try to be the witness and do not identify too much with that story – Play your role – Like in a movie but you are not the role. Everything is like a dream – It changes – You are not the character – Illusion – Then affirm yourself – I am Sat Chid Ananda – I am truth – I am bliss – I am knowledge – Basically the idea is detachment –