make your negative thoughts work for you
What is “The Work”?
“The Work” is a simple yet powerful method of inquiry that has enabled thousands of people from around the globe to find more freedom and peace in their relationships with themselves, with others and with the world.
How does “The Work” work?
Our thoughts are powerful
The thoughts we have about ourselves, about others, and about what is happening around us have an effect on us. This effect may be positive or negative and may concern both our emotional and our physical well-being. Stressful, painful thoughts such as “I am not good enough” or “my boss (or lover, or family) does not appreciate me” may make us feel uncomfortable, at the least, and at times, may even cause pain, tension, fear or depression.
Am I supposed to stop thinking?!
No. And that is practically impossible. Anyone who has ever tried to stop thinking an unpleasant thought knows that it just doesn’t work. When we fight off a stressful thought, we may manage to stop thinking about it for a while, but eventually it will resurface in our heads, the minute we let our defenses down or get tired.
So what can I do?
“The Work” allows us to examine just how true are these negative thoughts. Often, we discover that these stressful thoughts are entirely, or at least partially, wrong. Sometimes we find that it was nothing more than a naive, yet false interpretation of what has happened. When we see that the thought is not entirely true, this thought loses some of it’s power over us. This discovery opens us to new refreshing ways to see the situation and this in turn helps us find new ways to deal with it.
At the end of this process we usually feel more free, happier and calmer. The next time this thought visits us, we might be able to smile in our heart and remind ourselves of what we have already learned.
Who is Byron Katie?
Byron Katie was suffering from severe depression and anxiety over many years. She was overweight and was addicted to alcohol and pain killers. By coping with her difficulties, she discovered that she suffered when she believed her painful thoughts. She also discovered that she felt better if she questioned them. As a result she developed “The Work” method in 1986. Since then, the method has found it’s way to many corners of the world, bringing peace and contentment to the lives of many. The method in essence consists of four simple questions and a turn-around that inquire into our beliefs.
Byron Katie have written several books on the subject, among them, the bestseller “Loving What Is”, as well as “I Need Your Love – Is That True?” and “A Thousand Names for Joy”
Scientific research regarding “The Work”
So far, hardly any studies have been conducted about “The Work”, but the subject is getting more attention lately. Here are a couple of studies done already:
The Effects of “The Work” Meditation (Byron Katie) on Psychological Symptoms and Quality of Life — A Pilot Clinical Study
Eric Smernoff, PhD, Inbal Mitnik, MA, Ken Kolodner, ScD, Shahar Lev-ari, PhD
The Effects of Self Inquiry on Mood States