What’s occupying your thoughts right now?
Whilst some are looking forward to the freedom from restrictions, there’s an understandable wariness about what life will be like. A cautious hope perhaps that we’re coming out of the woods, mingled maybe with some natural post lockdown anxiety. It’s ok if we’re quietly optimistic but somewhat guarded at the same time.
It’s when our thoughts are doing somersaults with ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’s, it can send us in a spin.
We know it’s what we think and what we do that changes the dynamic. The key then, is taming our thoughts so that they work for us (not against us).
Here’s some ideas that might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Nudge Your Thinking. When your thoughts are beating up your brain you could try the “distract or combat” technique to help you manage that noisy inner critic. You could put on a favourite song or comedy to take your mind somewhere else. Or challenge your mind for evidence that what you’re thinking is absolutely, definitely and most certainly true.
If it still feels like your thoughts are taking you ‘down the plug hole’, you might decide to hold a Negativity Fast. This article explains if you’re feeling bogged down by ‘negative’ thoughts it might be time to shift the narrative. That doesn’t mean stop thinking – we know now, that’s not possible – and it doesn’t mean “just think positive” either; we know it’s not that easy, and that doesn’t always work. So start by acknowledging what you’re thinking or feeling, because giving something a name can often make it clearer. Getting it out of your head and on to paper (e.g. via journaling) can be therapeutic too.
Latest research also now suggests it takes around 66 days to break a habit, so the key will be sticking with it. Set yourself a goal to become aware of when your thoughts are getting tricky (mindfulness can help), pay particular attention to the trigger and then find new ways of being kind to your mind.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021