Earlier today you said something mildly embarrassing by accident, and everyone laughed.
It was no big deal, and everybody knew that it was a slip of the tongue, no harm done.
But it eats away at you.
You try not to think about it, but it keeps popping up in your mind. Over and over again.
And each time it pops up, it brings unpleasant emotions with it.
So you attempt to suppress the negative thought.
You try to force yourself to forget about what happened.
You hope that this will make the unpleasant feelings go away.
But it doesn’t work.
Instead of making them go away, suppression makes the problem worse.
When you bury a negative emotion, it’s like burying a seed.
And before long you are feeling much, much worse.
Next time something is bothering you, don’t bury it.
Bring it to the front of your mind.
Bring it into the light.
You could even write it out in a journal.
As you look at it directly, the negative thought begins to shrink.
Eventually, by giving it your full attention, the negative thought will just be a piece of information, and it won’t make you feel bad at all.