Once upon a time, a woman moved to a cave in the mountains to study with a guru. She wanted, she said, to learn everything there was to know. The guru supplied her with stacks of books and left her alone so she could study. Every morning , the guru returned to the cave to monitor the woman's progress. In his hand, he carried a heavy wooden cane. Each morning, he asked her the same question. "Have you learned everything there is to know yet?" Each morning, her answer was the same. "No," she said, "I haven't." The guru would then strike her on the head with his cane.
This scenario repeated itself for months. One day the guru entered the cave, asked the same question, heard the same answer, and raised his cane to hit her in the same way, but the woman grabbed the cane from the guru, stopping the assault in midair.
Relieved to end the daily batterings but fearing reprisal, the woman looked up at the guru. To her surprise, the guru smiled. "Congratulations," he said, "you have graduated. You know everything you NEED to know."
"How's that?" the woman asked.
"You have learned that you will never learn everything there is to know," he replied. "And you learned how to stop the pain."
Thought cause emotions and emotions cause behaviors. There are a lot of things that you can do to stop. Often people say I am depressed. Depression is the foundation for your thoughts and your thoughts feed the depression. The short version is:
When you are depressed you have trouble distinguishing between the emotions you are feeling. Lack of good concentration is a side effect of depression. What I learned one of the last times I was depressed was that I wasn't just having one or two emotions, I was having several. The emotions were all brought on in a minute. The situation was I had a hard day with my ex Carolyn and as I hit the rock bottom of the depression I noticed and wrote down the different emotions I was feeling. I felt fear because I knew that her dad didn't like me and she trusted him more than me. I felt anger because that day she had compared me to her abusive ex husband. I felt love because I loved and compassion because she had a hard day with a lot of suicidal thoughts. I felt insecurity because she was so beautiful and I thought she would realize she could do better.
Anyway the point is picking out one of those emotions and let it be the one in the forefront. They happen quick and I understand it takes a long time to get good at this but it was necessary for me to do it. Also I wear two rubber bands on my wrist to help me stop negative thoughts. When I pop them it releases endorpins and helps to ease the pain and often centers me.