You made up. The argument is long over; life with your sweetheart is back to normal. Except for that little nagging thought that keeps running through your brain, with the determined persistence of a hamster on a treadmill: “How could he/she do that? How could he/she say that about me in front of our friends?” Despite the countless times you’ve reminded yourself that he/she not only recognized (eventually) that they were wrong for doing it (Yippee! One for your side) but also apologized profusely.

Now you’re getting irritated with yourself. Come on, you’re a grown-up, you should have better control over your thoughts than this--the past is the past! So now, not only are you rehashing “How could he/she say that about me in front of our friends?” but once you catch yourself obsessing over what should be done, gone and over with, you’re now jumping onto the second treadmill of “I can’t believe I’m rehashing this!”

You have no peace of mind. You wish you were like your dog, whose thoughts seem limited to eating, sleeping, and chasing the cat. Even your hamster gets off his treadmill from time to time, what’s up with you?

You haven’t thrown the thought away yet. The argument may be over, but your thoughts about it aren’t.

Some very interesting research has brought to light a surprisingly simple yet very effective way of ridding ourselves of unwanted thoughts: throw them away. Literally! Write your now useless, nagging-at-you thought down on a piece of paper. Then willfully, consciously, deliberately, wad up that piece of paper and throw it in the trash. Or tear it into little itty biddy pieces and flush it down the toilet (only if safe for your toilet!).

The message you deliver to your subconscious by physically trashing a thought you no longer find valuable, is “I’m done with this--forever!” And your subconscious, willing servant that it is, says “OK!” It may take a while for the thought never to come up again, so if/when it does, simply say to yourself “I’m done with that!” and if need be, write it down again, and throw it in the trash again.

Yes, you can type it into a doc and then drag to your virtual trash bin that works as well for many people.

Next time you have recurring thoughts that no longer serve any useful purpose (other than fanning the flames of what should be a long dead fire)--throw them away. Literally. And regain the peace of mind your dog illustrates so beautifully for you.


Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, relationship expert, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of nine best-selling books. Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. Visit,