It’s no secret in my family — I’m the worrier. I often get caught up in thoughts that carry me away to unnecessary sadness or concern. The pondering, the speculating, and the exaggeration that goes on is criminal AND, mostly futile. A friend has saved my life recently by passing on a technique to stop the mental madness.
Here’s what she does when her mind goes places she doesn’t want it to or stays in a place too long. She actually says to yourself “Stop It!”. And not just in her head, but out loud. Saying it out loud makes it stick better. Then, the trick is to immediately replace that subject with another. Sounds trite — replacing a negative with a positive — nothing new there. But this habit gives you an action to take, which works better than just schmoozing yourself with good intentions.
Stopping a runaway brain isn’t always easy, especially in the middle of the night when worries can seem bigger than they actually are. But perspective often changes with the magic of sleep. It happens to me all the time. What seemed like a big deal at 2am doesn’t seem so earth shaking in the morning. I love my bed.
Everyone has sensitive areas that take them down a road to sadness or anger or wherever they don’t want to be. Experiencing profound loss or disappointment in the past is sure to trigger vivid memories. Whether it is the death of someone dear, the loss of good health, or the times your love forgot your birthday — having a tangible tool will help you through. And, you might want to add my book, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss, to your toolkit.
If you’re by yourself, remember to be emphatic, “STOP IT.” If you’re not alone, whisper so people won’t think you’re daft. Getting the words out of your mouth activates the mental shift, putting the brakes on that runaway train of a brain.