How are you coping with your thoughts today?
Each moment of every day, we have thoughts darting around in our minds. When I stop to consider the ramblings that are occurring, I realise just how much negativity and destruction is sometimes involved in my thought process. If I leave these thoughts unchecked, allow them to proceed further, if I don't acknowledge of challenge them, I can soon find myself struggling mentally.
How do you proceed once you realise your thoughts and mind are drifting off to a place you would rather not be?
Hi Doolhof! 🙂
I like that you said "if I leave these thoughts unchecked" because I think you're onto something there. I go through times where I can acknowledge them and others where they completely pass me by and then I'm in a situation where I realise a little too late what has happened or what was the cause. I know that it can be difficult to challenge these thoughts and is not often something that comes to mind first thought, but I do sometimes try hard to say no to them and try to leave the thought where it lies.
Distractions can be good if I am aware of what's happening or about to happen thought wise so listening to happy music or getting out that secret stash of Tim Tams and having one with a coffee or cuppa and treating myself to something I enjoy can help. I also sometimes try to use that anxiety trick (I have GAD as well) where you try to name things around you or what you feel or what you can hear or smell bringing me more into the present moment. In spiritual terms, it's called grounding and can be very helpful of course, but it doesn't always work for me if I am already too deep in.
Thanks for your reply. I find different tactics help me to address what is going on in my mind. Some days like you mentioned, distractions can help, other days the thoughts are just too heavy and seem to take a lot of energy.
It is helpful to have ideas in mind as to what can be beneficial.
A couple of days ago I awoke feeling like a thundercloud had descended upon me. I could find no reason for this to be happening other than that is how it was at that moment. Even though it was cold and drizzling outside, I went for a walk to help clear my mind.
Trying to think of a fruit or vegetable or a place for every letter of the alphabet is a good distraction for me. Counting back from 1000 in 7s just gets me confused! Ha. Ha. There are lots of simple distractions we can use.
Hope you are travelling okay at present. Kind regards to you.
This morning I read these words from "Mental Health Prime" on Facebook:
When things feel overwhelming, remember
- One task at a time
- One thought at a time
- One day at a time.
I need to deal with one thought at a time and work out how I want to act or react to that thought.
Issues about work are spinning around in my mind. Writing them down may help me to understand what kind of dilemma my mind is working its way to. Stopping to view the thoughts realistically will be beneficial.
Lovely to see you again. One of the things I really enjoy is board games and there are a lot of board games designed for just one player, kind of like a puzzle. These board games vary in complexity so I find they can be really good distractions if I just need something light to take my mind off things, or really focussed challenges that take up all of my mental space. The great thing is that finishing the game often leads to a nice feeling of 'winning'.
You can use this idea for any topic you can think of. Another idea is to think of different colours and list how many items you can name that are say orange or blue for example. Or think of 10 creatures beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet.
I have found there are times when I need to work out why my thoughts are so troublesome. Other times I recognise them as my mind just going for a wander down a negative path and I try to deflect them.
Thanks for the greeting. It has been a while! I sometimes take the board games out of the cupboard and set them up for two players! My husband asked me once what I was doing. I told him I was playing a game in two parts, either way I was going to win!
I will have a look for board games suited for one. Someone also introduced me to jigsaw puzzles on the computer. I find that is a good way to be distracted as well. It is rewarding to finish something isn't it!
Empty space and no plans can be a great breeding ground for festering thoughts to multiple! It is good to have some ideas on hand to distract when trying to work out your thoughts is not what you plan to do.
Such a good question and something I am always working on, Doolhol.
I named the voice of the negative thoughts in my head "Barbara". She is a completely separate entity to myself and someone who is not welcome at the table. So when I catch her mouthing off or reminding me of things I don't want to think about I tell her to shoosh and go away. It's helpful somehow, reminding myself that I am not my thoughts.
If the voice is really strong, I try grounding techniques like focusing on my senses and being mindful of what's around me. The ground, the air, the noises...
I really like the idea of understanding and comprehending that we are not our thoughts. Naming them Barbara obviously helps you as well. I guess that is a good way of recognising the issue at hand and dealing with it productively.
Sometimes I catch myself arguing with my thoughts! If I just found a way to dismiss the thoughts that don't need attention I would be much better off!
Why is it that the mind at times can recall a million things that went wrong but mine struggles to find a positive let alone 10!