This is the fifth post in an ongoing blog series, featuring some practical tools and activities. Fill up your arsenal and collect your weapons for recovery.
You’re not going to like this one.
You’re going to think that I’m over-simplifying. And you’re right, I am. This tool is simple in concept, but difficult to master. When we have backed ourselves into an emotional corner, and self-criticisms are swarming, and we are overwhelmed, and we cannot stop the incessant thoughts even at night – Stop.
I don’t mean like Nike’s just do it. I mean, literally, stop. Breathe three times, as slowly and deeply as possible. Don’t avoid your thoughts, listen to them, watch them flow in as though they are on a conveyor belt and then watch them leave just the same. Remember that thoughts are thoughts, they are not happening, and you are in complete control of yourself. Do not let your thoughts victimize you.
Now, think of the opposite thought. If you are thinking negatively, think positively. If you are denying yourself something you don’t think you deserve, do it. If you are tempted to fall into old behaviours, make up a new, positive one to replace it.
This technique may seem easy-to-say-hard-to-do, but it is amazing how much can be geniously overcome through this type of practise. Our brains are super powerful machines, and we can learn to manage our thoughts and eliminate fear from our lives.