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Over Tired in my thoughts…

Community Member

My head is so sore. How do you turn bad thoughts into good ones? 
Is it ever going to be possible to not think about sh? I’ve only ever been able to stop myself a few times but it just plays in my mind on my darkest days.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi SNWner


How to stop thinking about what is depressing, what is anxiety inducing, what's enraging, what's challenging and confusing etc, is something I've found to be a seriously tough skill to develop. I'm wondering how you managed to stop thinking on those few occasions you mention.


I've found it pays to first question 'What is thinking and what's classed as not thinking?'. I figure if we want to master something, it pays to better define what it is we're trying to master.


Some might disagree but under the heading of thoughtlessness or thinking less could be

  1. Full conscious awareness of being in the moment you're in, where you simply feel joy or excitement etc (without depressing or stressful factors coming to mind, for example). So, purely feeling instead of thinking. Kinda like if you're on a terrifying roller coaster ride, the feeling of sheer terror could override any stressful thoughts in regard to what's going on at work
  2. Sensing without thinking. This one's a bit strange but say like with guided meditation, you don't necessarily think about where you're being led (through the mediation), you simply see where you're being led. If it's a sensory type of meditation which involves all the senses, if you're guided to a field of lavender to smell, you don't think about what the lavender smells like, you simply smell it (sense it in your mind). I suppose you could call this 'Coming to your senses without thinking'
  3. When something naturally comes to mind in the way of a solution, it's not about thinking up a solution or mentally processing your way toward a solution, the solution simply comes to you from out of the blue. Once it comes, it's then that you begin mentally processing it (aka thinking about it)
  4. Giving a problem or challenge to someone else to think about. This can leave you free to some degree to not think so much about it. While the problem or challenge may play on your mind on occasion, it's the other person who's doing most of the thinking when it comes to problem solving
  5. Changing inner dialogue can be helpful yet definitely hard to achieve under certain circumstances. If we're channeling one of our so called 'inner demons', let's say 'the pessimist' in us, it can be a matter of learning to shift focus to channeling 'the sage' in us (something more divine). While the pessimist may point out 20 different problems that all need solving at once, leading to over thinking (mental hyperactivity), the sage in us may simply suggest 'Not all things can be solved at once. What's the first and most important thing that needs to be resolved?'. This one's more about what leads us to think less, thinking strategically

Thinking is definitely an interesting topic in itself. When you consider it, no one really teaches us skills in being thoughtless. It's typically not until thinking becomes a major problem that we're forced into developing skills. Our nervous system can often be at its happiest when we're not thinking so much.🙂

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear SNWner,


I know how sh thoughts can be very persistent and feel involuntary. I had them very persistently from early October up until a couple of weeks ago and I’ve had them come up at other times in the last two years. I’ve found gradually being able to sense and know my own safety has been valuable in the process of de-escalating the sh thoughts. Some of the things that have helped have included ringing a helpline and talking through my feelings with someone, going into nature for a while, and finding a distraction doing something that really interests and absorbs me which for me is usually photography.


A helpline you may find useful is The Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380. They support people with complex trauma and while I don’t know if you have a trauma history, I’m guessing maybe something is there that may be feeding into the sh thoughts. Their focus is on safety and stabilisation so they may be able to give you some support to feel you are ok and safe. I called them myself this morning actually and feel better for it. They talk for up to 45 minutes or 30 minutes sometimes if busy.


For me the sh thoughts are connected with things such as intense feelings of shame, failure, disempowerment, isolation etc. These feelings in my case are linked all the way back to childhood experiences and can be brought up by a trigger in the present. Because I have had life circumstances that have been extra overwhelming in the past few years too, I can see how that overwhelm has pushed me into sh thoughts as sh feels like a way out from the overwhelm.


I’m wondering if you can identify certain triggers that may send you into a sh thought spiral? I’m also wondering if you have anyone to support you such as a psychologist who is understanding? For me I’ve found it’s a gradual process of learning how to feel safe within myself. It’s sometimes a case of two steps forward and one back. It really takes time for the nervous system to know it’s safe so resorting to sh doesn’t come up so much as an option. But it can shift over time so such thoughts do settle down and have less and less impact.


 I have found the greatest antidote to sh thoughts has been kindness towards myself, something that has been excruciatingly difficult for most of my life. I have found loving kindness towards myself works better than just trying to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. It’s like I’ve had to work with the deeper issues as to why the sh thoughts are there. So I let go of the internal battle of trying to rid myself of negative thoughts and instead try to be kind to the parts of myself that hurt. So more an embracing of self rather than trying to force out negative thoughts. That self-kindness can then melt away some of the self-attack that often goes on inside myself.


 I hope maybe that helps a little. I think it is possible to get to a point you move past thinking about sh. It takes time, patience and self-kindness. It also helps if you have some other kind people around you at least some of the time. You are welcome here if you need to talk further.


Kind thoughts and all the best,

Eagle Ray