How often do you feel like you are getting caught up in thoughts that make you feel bad about yourself? They can come into your mind so quickly sometimes, kill your mood, and it feels like you don't have a second to assess whether they are a load of BS or not! Just because thoughts are existing or present, does not mean they are true. See, some of our thoughts are pretty spot-on, but others are, well, a bit wonky because they're influenced by our emotions, past experiences, biases, and personal perspectives. A client recently told me that she had assumed that a friend was ignoring her and had fallen out with her simply because the friend hadn’t returned her phone calls. It turned out that the friend had been sick, but once she felt better a week later, she got back in touch! Those inaccurate assumptions caused my client a great deal of stress and upset. This is an example of how we can assume a thought was correct, simply because it was there. Our thoughts have a real say in our lives and there's a narrative going on in our minds for the majority of the time. To stop false, unhelpful thoughts from hijacking our minds, we need to start operating like detectives in our own minds. We can gather evidence, determine what parts are more emotionally drawn and what thoughts or ideas might be developing more from opinion. Ask: where is the evidence to say that this thought is true? Does this thought support or hinder me? If there is no evidence in support of it and it is an unhelpful or harmful thought, you can say "thank you but I know that's not true" and replace it with a more supportive, positive thought. It's important to remember that the brains job is to protect you and to keep you safe, therefore it has a negative bias. This means we need to make a conscious effort to be our own mind detective to challenge and question the validity of our thoughts. Changing thought patterns takes time and persistence. Be patient with yourself and persistent in your efforts to intercept and replace harmful thoughts with more helpful, constructive ones. Over time, this process can lead to a more positive mindset.

Posted by Alison Snee at 2024-02-05 18:46:26 UTC