Instructions for "Thoughts on the Radio":
You have just taken a valuable step along the way to releasing the hold your thoughts have on you. As story telling creatures, we humans are constantly narrating our own lives. This serves to help us understand the world, get along in it, and avoid danger.
Where this becomes tricky is when we stop seeing these narratives as just story, and start thinking they are truth. For example, if my mum is 10 minutes late picking me up from school when I am 6, I will spend that 10 minutes narrating what is happening from my 6 year old point of view. — I may think that my mum doesn't love me, that I am not important enough to be remembered, that I am alone in the world, and that it is a scary place. These thoughts and the emotional reactions that accompany them can make their way into my psyche, and they will become part of the way I live my life. I may continue as an adult to life with the conviction that I am not loveable, I am not important, I am alone, etc.
My rational, adult mind can se the many flaws in my 6 year old thinking immediately. I can see that my mum being late means she probably had trouble starting the car, or finding her keys, whatever, no big deal. But a 6 year old mind is not rational, and it is a known fact that we establish much of how we see our worlds before the age of 8! Our subconscious minds are full of ideas that we have made up when we were kids, and they form the basis of how we live today.
Don't be disheartened by this, the good news is that we have the power to change how we live, and by doing exercises such as the simple one above, you have contributed to that change by reducing taking control over your thoughts and their influence over you. It's never too late to make change happen!
"...our thoughts influence our feelings and body sensations and are themselves influenced by our feelings and body sensations. But that does not make our thoughts true, no matter how compelling they may feel." - Williams, Teasdale, Segal, Kabat-Zinn
The Weekly Minute is a blog I write each week with the aim of providing proven tools to help promote positive mental health.
The collection of short, practical mindfulness and therapy tools for self-reflection and self-improvement, can equip people to take their mental well-being into their own hands, and improve their quality of life.
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