Combating Thoughts

The world feels like a bad show sometimes that we cannot turn off, doesn’t it? What strategies do you have in your toolbox to navigate complex and troubling times?  
Here are some of my Go-To’s are:  

  1. Cognitive Reframing – When thoughts enter my mind that are not helpful to me, I challenge them. How much truth is this thought rooted in? How much fear? How much do I have control over? What thoughts can I let come and then simply go?  
    When I stay curious about and examine my thoughts (meta-cognition), I can gain insight into thought patterns and identify different perspectives to lean on.  
     
  2. Behavioral Experiments – Sometimes I experiment with my thoughts by acknowledging the thought and making a prediction. What do I think will happen? What do I predict the outcome will be? Was I right? How often? 
     
  3. Thought Recording – Putting a pen to paper helps me stay grounded and connected to the present moment. Using this strategy, I will write down what I am thinking or focusing on and how it is sitting in my body (needing to pace, butterflies in stomach, lack of appetite, sweaty palms…). This slows my thinking and puts into words what is jumping around in my head and heart.  
     
  4. Guided Discovery– like cognitive reframing, I ask myself questions about my thoughts to get to the underlying belief. I am not feeling good enough, strong enough, capable enough…Maybe I am afraid and have not acknowledged the fear. 
    Bringing my thoughts into awareness without judgment creates an opportunity to learn more about myself and how I navigate the world.  

Do any of these resonate with you? Consider playing with one and see if it sticks.  

Today, like all days, you will feel many feelings – notice them – be curious about them – seek the wisdom in them – treat them with kindness – and remember they are temporary. 

Stay Curious,  

Jamie