So I give my clients quite a bit of techniques to manage their ruminating thoughts but I found myself at a loss yesterday. I guess it was just one of those days. My car started acting up and I could have calmly said, no big deal, I will take care of it tomorrow. Nope. I got annoyed with JW that moment for asking any questions, I went to look at YouTube for what it could possibly be, like I was really going to fix it once I figured out what it was.lol. Also, I went to bed thinking about it and I woke up with the same thoughts. I thought out several plans on how I was going to get it to the dealership, if I should call out from work for the day, if this was the end of my car, etc..le sigh
A common mistake we can make in these situations is not knowing how much control we can have over things we repeatedly think about in our head. We create unnecessary anxiety and stress with being for ourselves in these moments. The thing that happens is that we learn this behavior and it becomes harder to unlearn when we try to. We continue with what we know best and at times that isn’t good for our psyche.
If you ever have a similar moment, here are some options to try. You would think my daily meditations would have helped me deal with this situation a bit better but growth, is the word of the day.
- Learn to pause, because that’s really what we need, to take a breather, calm ourselves down and think through a possible solution.
- To find that solution, it takes coming up with several possibilities, choosing the solution that works best and giving it time to do its magic. If its not working out how you planned, switch it up again. Give yourself an allotted amount of time to see if something works to help with solving the issue that keeps coming up in your head. Also it doesn’t have to be the end all be all.
- There’s always room for meditation to clear your mind and adjust how you’re thinking about the situation.
- You can listen to Weightless by Marconi Union. I learned about this anxiety hack a few weeks ago and have used it to calm my nerves, especially while flying. I know there are various songs out there but this one I can get with. When you hear of research conducted by Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International on ways that sound can impact our stress response, it got me intrigued and now I’m sold.
- Remove yourself from situations that could intensify your thoughts. Also, think about removing yourself from people to get a clear mind in that moment, to minimize getting annoyed and keep you from snapping at unexpected bystanders.
- Mindfully try to focus on one thing, whether it’s eating, walking or writing, to try to find some peace in doing one thing and being fully aware of whats going on in that moment.
- Get a work-out in, for all the great reasons you can think of, do something you like and that can keep your attention. After a work-out, it can help you see how insignificant a thought is, could help you come up with a better solution and just may help with just overall relaxation which is what we’re going for.
You have more control than you think in these moments and if you’re ruminating thoughts are taking you away from dealing with reality, then its asking yourself why you want to cause yourself this headache. It’s ok to slow down in these moments when you’re mind wants to go everywhere but what it needs to focus on. Create peace in your mind by being present about when you’re thoughts are out of control to be able to look at the one thing that can be done to manage the problem.