When you wish it would go away. There are so many things that this sentence can represent. Whether it be a certain situation, a person, a feeling. Today however I’m talking about thoughts. When you can’t stop thinking about things. When the same thoughts enter your mind over and over again and it feels like it’s becoming an obsession. I was told by one of my boys last night his mind never shuts off. You’ve all been there. I’ve been there. Here is what I’ve found.
I recently read an article on Wiki that laid some options out for me. It says there are three methods to use to stop thinking those thoughts. They include using your brain, keeping busy, and engaging in thought stopping. Today we are going to talk about the first method.
Using your brain. We do that every day, right? The truth is the more you think about not thinking about what is bothering you the more it is going to stick around. It is the obsession that eats away at your mind and soul through out the day. Just the act of wanting to stop thinking about something can make you miserable because it then leads you to think about what you don’t want to think about. I feel like I’m talking in riddles but you get it, right?
Instead, let’s try acceptance. Let’s accept that we are going to these thoughts. Let’s accept that you are going to think about these things. That time that thing happened. That person who you can’t get off your mind. That feeling you had that one day. Let’s accept that no matter what, you are going to think about it. Once you accept it, the power of those thoughts to adversely effect you dwindles down. Without you dwelling on the act of stopping to think about it, the thoughts may even come less and less over time. Trying to suppress the thoughts that haunt you will lead to anxiety and depression which then could effect your whole world. Once you are mindful of the thoughts and accept their existence in your life, you stop giving them the power to haunt you. You may not like it, but that’s the way it is.
Another thing the article suggest is distraction. Sometimes I can’t decide what I want as a distraction so I try out many different things. That is the first thing I do wrong. Too many distractions really isn’t helping. It really only makes you unhappy that you can’t focus on one thing. You need to pick one thing and focus on it. Give it your absolute full attention. Sometimes for me it’s a good book. There is nothing better for me than getting caught up in a world that isn’t mine. I am an avid romance reader and I love being part of the feelings of others. When I’m concentrating on how others feel when I’m reading I’m sure not thinking about my own feelings and thoughts. This is the perfect escape for me. It is one of my favorite ways to escape. The only problem is eventually the distraction will end. Sometimes it takes me back to square one and sometimes it’s better. You can also distract yourself with a good tv show or movie. I’ve been known to dive into a series on Netfilx and not come up until it was over. It doesn’t suck me in as good as a book but it sure handles the situation at the moment.
You can also use your brain to control unwanted thoughts by throwing them out. Yes, it literally means to write your thoughts on a piece of paper. Then crumble it up and throw it out! As you throw away your thoughts on paper the thinking is you mentally discard of them as well. Does it help? You try it and tell me.
The last thing you can do to help stop dwelling on unwanted thoughts is to find a lesson in them. Most likely your thoughts are stemming from a situation gone bad. Rethink it and figure out what you could have done differently and then let it go. Learn from it and move on. You can even write your lesson down and throw it away. This method doesn’t really help me. All it does is give me more to dwell on.
Distraction is probably my favorite of all these ideas but the truth is it’s only a temporary fix for me. I’m going to say acceptance is probably what helps me the most. I would like to hear your ideas of what you do to stop dwelling on a situation, feeling, or person.
Interested in the other methods? Check back with me tomorrow.