Do you struggle with overthinking or intrusive thoughts? Doing this could help.
We continue to live through difficult times. War, destabilisation, rising living costs, income and job insecurity prey on our minds.
Self compassion is particularly important at the moment as I feel that we are all in a bit of a state of collective post-trauma. Covid-19 hasn’t quite gone away and yet life is returning to a semblance of normality for which some people are ready and some are not.
Overthinking and intrusive thoughts are linked with Anxiety. If you struggle with either or both, I hope you'll find the following practice helpful. This is a tool to help you interrupt distressing or anxious thought patterns. Try it more than once, give it a chance to work for you:
Visualise a big red STOP sign interrupting your thoughts.
Visually connect with your surroundings, notice what you can see. Where are you, who are you with?
Notice the sounds, what can you hear?
Notice the smells.
Feel the temperature on your skin, are you feeling warm, cold?
Notice any areas of tension in your body, e.g. hunched shoulders, gritted teeth, clenched jaw. Relax the tension.
This practice will help you to ground yourself in the here and now, bringing your attention away from your thoughts and back to the present moment.
Remember, you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are only thoughts, not intentions.
Thoughts are not actions, but they can cause anxiety if we attach too much meaning to them, especially if the thoughts are upsetting.
Your thoughts are only as real or important as you allow them to be.
Please share this email with anyone who could benefit from help with intrusive thoughts and anxiety. And if you or anyone you know is struggling, don't be afraid to reach out to myself or a mental health professional.
9 - 15 May is Mental Health Awareness Week and I am glad mental health awareness is in peoples minds. I'd like to see mental health completely de-stigmatised and although progress is being made, sometimes it feels painfully slow! Initiatives like Mental Health Awareness Week brings the subject out of the shadows and keeps the conversation going and for that I am grateful.
On that note, if there is any area you would like me to expand upon in my posts, anything that might be helpful to hear more about, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org