Tag Archives for " anxiety "

06/02/2019

The Pitfalls Of Perfectionism

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this episode Jo speaks to Josephine Hughes, a Counsellor in private practice based in Southend-on-Sea, in Essex. Together with her private practice Josephine has developed her ‘Good Enough Mum’ work to support women who struggle to feel ‘good enough’, not just in their parenting but in their lives generally.

Josephine also manages a Facebook group called ‘Good Enough Counsellors’, which developed out of her Good Enough Mum work. More details can be found below.

What’s the topic?

Do you feel that things in your life need to be ‘perfect’? Do you feel the need to be the top-performing employee, an exceptional parent, or to get A-grades in all your exams? What might it be like if you didn’t achieve these things? What would that mean for you?

As much as we might strive to be perfect this isn’t really a concept that can be defined. In fact, perfectionism can leave us tied up in mental and emotional knots, and take away our enjoyment and appreciation of the ‘here and now’.

During the podcast, we reference two books by Brene Brown called The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly. Also, here is a link to the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver which Josephine talks about.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What Perfectionism is and the ways it might manifest
  • Josephine’s own experiences of trying to be ‘perfect’
  • How people can let go of perfectionism and begin to embrace their vulnerability and fallibility as human beings

Contact Josephine

If you’d like to find out more about Josephine’s private counselling practice then check out her Facebook page, or you can visit her website Talk2Jo.

Josephine’s Facebook page for The Good Enough Mum can be found here and you can also visit her website.

If you’re a counsellor and want to check out Josephine’s Good Enough Counsellors Facebook group then click here.

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

30/01/2019

Imposter Syndrome And How To Tackle It

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this episode Jo speaks to Jane Travis, who set up and manages the Grow Your Private Practice Club for therapists in private practice, to help them get the best out of their business. More details can be found below.

What’s the topic?

Have you ever been offered a job or entered into a relationship and had the sudden thought that, at any moment, you might be “found out” and that you don’t deserve the job or to be in the relationship?

Have you ever started seeing a Counsellor, only to think that you’re a fraud and that your problems aren’t as “bad” as other people’s? Or, perhaps these thoughts have prevented you from even seeing a Counsellor in the first place?

If so, it sounds like you might have experienced Imposter Syndrome.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What Imposter Syndrome is and the sorts of situations that may trigger it
  • Jane’s own experiences of Imposter Syndrome
  • Ways that people can manage Imposter Syndrome.

Contact Jane

If you’re a Counsellor in private practice and want to know more about promoting your practice then you can go to the Grow Your Private Practice Facebook page and Jane’s website Grow Your Private Practice.

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

23/01/2019

Unhelpful Negative Thoughts And How To Challenge Them

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this episode Jo talks to Zoe Hinett, a Counsellor in private practice at Sticks And Stones Counselling based in South East London. Zoe works with a lot of people who have difficulties with negative thought patterns and works with them to develop ways of managing them more effectively. Zoe also writes blog posts on this subject.

What’s the topic?

For people who struggle with anxiety, they may or may not be aware when they’re having unhelpful negative thoughts. If they can catch the unhelpful thoughts when they’re happening, they can potentially help to reduce their anxiety.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The different types of unhelpful thinking patterns
  • The triggers to unhelpful thinking, and their impact
  • The STOPP method of managing unhelpful thinking patterns from the Get Self-Help website

Related posts

Contact Zoe

If you’d like to find out more about Zoe’s private practice then check out her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and you can also visit her website Sticks And Stones Counselling.

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

16/01/2019

Working With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this episode of the podcast Jo speaks to Sarah Felton who is a Counsellor in private practice based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. 

What’s the topic?

Sarah talks about her work with clients who are struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is defined as “…a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours” (NHS).

During the podcast, Sarah draws upon the book ‘Brain Lock’ by Jeffrey M. Schwartz.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What OCD is and the reasons why people suffer with it.
  • Sarah’s ways of working with clients with OCD.

Contact Sarah

If you’d like to find out more about Sarah’s private practice then check out her Facebook and Twitter pages or you can visit her website Sarah Felton Counselling.

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

09/01/2019

Anxiety And Mental Health From A Male Perspective

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this episode of the podcast Jo talks to Kev Cullinan who, as well as being a huge advocate for yoga and passionate about his music, has also struggled with his mental health.

What’s the topic?

Whilst there is increasing awareness surrounding male mental health, there are still pervading views in society that men “should be strong” and “shouldn’t show emotion” which only serve to isolate men further and increase their risk of suffering in silence.

On the Mental Health Foundation website it’s reported by the Office for National Statistics that there were 5,821 suicides recorded in Great Britain in 2017, and 75% were male. Furthermore, suicide is the most common cause of death in men aged  20-49 years’ old in England and Wales.

Kev discusses his struggles with anxiety and depression, and about his journey into developing ways of managing his mental health.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What it means to be a male with mental health difficulties
  • Kev’s experiences in disclosing his problems to mental health professionals
  • The coping skills and strategies that Kev uses to help manage his mental health

Related posts

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

02/01/2019

Anxiety In Children And Young People

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Who’s on the podcast?

In this first episode of the podcast Jo talks to Sarah Blunden, who is a Counsellor in private practice in Stoke-on-Trent. Sarah also works at a local charity counselling children.

What’s the topic?

It seems as though there are a lot more pressures on young people these days; this might be linked to things like social media and/or the need to do well in school. Whatever the reason, these pressures can increase their feelings of anxiety and worry.

The Mental Health Foundation states that 70% of children and young people who experience mental health problems have not received support at a sufficiently early age, so it seems pertinent that young people receive the support they need as early as possible.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Sarah’s work with children and young people and the sorts of issues that can cause them anxiety
  • How Sarah works with children and young people to explore their anxieties
  • Ways that children and young people can manage their anxieties more effectively.

Live Minds: Young people’s telephone service

North Staffordshire Mind now have a young people’s telephone service called Live Minds for children and young people aged 11-18 years’ old living in Stoke on Trent. The service is available to call free of charge on Wednesdays 4pm-8pm and Thursdays 4pm-9pm.

The number is 0800 0051 445.

Please note that the service is not a crisis line.

Contact Sarah

If you’d like to find out more about Sarah then check out her Facebook page, or you can visit her website Sarah Blunden Counselling.

Thank you for listening

Thank you for supporting the podcast, it means a lot to us that you’re listening. If you enjoyed this episode please share it using the social share buttons on this page. If you have any comments, or suggestions for future podcast episodes then please feel free to get in touch 🙂

We’d also appreciate it if you’d review the show and leave a rating for the podcast in iTunes, and this helps it to reach a wider audience.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to make sure you keep up to date with the latest episodes.

05/12/2018

Why Not Everyone Enjoys Christmas

Blog banner Why not everyone enjoys Christmas

We all know the drill at this time of year. We're bombarded with adverts about the latest gizmos and gadgets to buy, not to mention articles on how to host the best ever Christmas dinner for the family.

There's a lot of pressure for people to be happy, and to spend however much money it takes to make other people happy. We're not trying to be a pair of grumps, but the fact is not everyone enjoys Christmas and we're going to explain why.

"Christmas is a time for family"

It's true that Christmas is a good time for the family to get together and spend time with one another.

However, there are many people who have lost loved-ones and there's the added pressure to socialise whilst trying to deal with their grief. Even if these loved-ones have been gone for some years, Christmas time may continue to trigger strong emotions. Some people may even have no family around them at all.

Others may not want to spend time with the family they've got for various reasons. There may be those who do see their family and really struggle, but to not see them would cause more conflict.

Families are complex, and we're 99.9% sure that no families are without some sort of difficulties. Therefore, don't assume that everyone wants to see their family at this time of year and that it might actually be a sensitive issue for some.

"Christmas is a time for giving"

There's a huge amount of pressure on people when it comes to buying presents at Christmas time. It might be on the parents whose children want the latest gadgets. Perhaps someone thinks if they spend more money on their spouse this will show the extent of their love for them.

Retailers are more than happy for people to spend their hard-earned money in their stores. They're not interested in the quality of our relationships; they want to make profits!

why not everyone enjoys christmas

However, we don't need to buy into all this hype (no pun intended). We can choose to let go of the pressure of gift-giving and give to each other in more meaningful ways. Volunteering, donating money, clothing, or food to charity are all great ways to give more meaningfully.

Getting friends and family involved in such activities can help to spread the message that there are more enriching ways to give to others, other than focusing on exchanging material possessions.

"Christmas is a time for socialising"

Some people might love the obligatory work Christmas party, or their friends' annual festive outing to a pub or restaurant. However, for others these social occasions can fill them with dread.

Similar to the expectations of getting together with family, there tends to be pressure on people to attend social gatherings. It's almost expected that everyone must want to go out to let their hair down.

The fact is that there are people who are just not into doing this. Perhaps they suffer with social anxiety, where attending such occasions proves extremely difficult, or maybe they just prefer to spend a quiet evening indoors.

Whatever the reason, it's important not to put pressure on those who may choose not to do what we expect at this time of year. No one has to do what others are doing; they can do what feels right for them, whatever that might be 🙂


It's "the most wonderful time of the year"

The fact is, that Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year for many people. Christmas may evoke a lot of negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, guilt, and/or regret.

It's important that we don't judge people who we think aren't getting into the "Christmas spirit". It's okay to feel whatever you feel at any time of the year and Christmas is no different, whatever the adverts might have us think.


why not everyone enjoys Christmas

If you know someone who's struggling perhaps ask if they'd like some support. It might be that they decline - perhaps they need time alone for reflection - but at least they know you're there if they want to talk at any point.


Peace, love, and understanding

The message we're trying to give here is, let's try to understand this from both perspectives.

For those who really struggle around Christmas time do what you need to do to look after yourselves. Don't feel that you need to bow to the pressure of what you think you 'should' do in order to fit in. Christmas means different things to different people.

Equally though, we wouldn't recommend shutting yourself away for prolonged periods as that can often make things seem worse. Get support from others if you're struggling. Don't suffer alone and try not to feel as though you're a burden if you admit to others that you're finding things hard. The people who truly care will support you.

For those people out there who do enjoy Christmas, get out there and enjoy the festive season. See friends/family if you want to. Go out for food, dance the night away at the work's Christmas do, and clink those champagne glasses!

However, also bear in mind that other people might not want to do these things, and that's okay. And, if someone does need to talk about why they're struggling, give them some of your time and a listening ear. That might be the best present they receive this Christmas 🙂

7 Ways To Tackle Low Self-Esteem

blog banner 7 ways to tackle low self-esteem

There's a lot of information out there about the symptoms of low self-esteem. It can lead to people withdrawing from social situations, focusing on the negatives, and being unable to take positive feedback (i.e. compliments) from others.

Through our work with clients we often see a link between their low self-esteem and their levels of anxiety.

Where does low self-esteem come from?

Low self-esteem can stem from any number of situations or events.

Perhaps people in your family or teachers at school said certain things which made you feel inadequate. On the other hand, you may not have been told anything directly. It might have been the way other people treated you which led you to believe you're not "good enough".

Stressful life events can also have a negative impact on self-esteem. You might have lost a loved one or experienced a serious illness, and this can all take its toll on our perceptions of ourselves.

Low self-esteem and anxiety

In a previous blog post we explained a technique for how to figure out your negative core belief, which is a 'global belief' you may apply to yourself as a person. If you have low self-esteem this core belief might be something like "I'm a failure" or "I'm not good enough".

A negative core belief can impact on many aspects of your life. For example, if you have a belief of "I'm not good enough" this may cause you to avoid situations such as meeting new people or trying a new hobby due to the anxiety invoked by each situation.

Think about the prospect of meeting new people when you have a core belief of "I'm not good enough". Examples of the thoughts you might have are: "No one will want to talk to me", "I'll end up standing on my own", or "I'll make a fool of myself in front of people".

Such thoughts aren't going to fill you with much confidence. If anything, they're likely to make you feel anxious about going into that situation. We've said this before and we'll say it again: It's not the situation, but our thoughts about the situation which cause us to feel a certain way.

The impact of low self-esteem

The example above highlights how much of an impact low self-esteem can have. It can stop us from meeting new people and trying out new experiences.

We can end up isolating ourselves because we don't feel we're good enough to be with people, and we have no confidence in our ability to succeed in new situations.

The problem is, the more we avoid these new situations the more our low self-esteem is reinforced because we're not challenging the thoughts which feed into our fears.

7 ways to tackle low self-esteem

Here are seven ways you can tackle low self-esteem. You may find that some work better for you than others. That's fine; stick with the ones that work well!

1. Challenge your negative thoughts

Thoughts are not facts, but we give far too much weight to them. They're our beliefs about ourselves or a given situation which are likely to have been influenced by past experiences.

Check out our blog posts herehere, and here for ways to challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs.

2. Make a list of all the things you're good at

We can't possibly be good at everything, but we need to focus on what we're good at rather than beating ourselves up for things we're not so good at.

Make a list of all the things you're good at, together with the qualities you like about yourself. Having these things down in black and white can help you appreciate them more.

3. Surround yourself with positive people

Unfortunately we may know people who tend to (consciously or unconsciously) reinforce our low sense of self-worth. They reiterate how difficult everything is rather than helping us look for ways to address the problem.

When we're feeling down on ourselves, we need people around us who are in "our corner", who will help us get out of the funk we're in and encourage us to dust ourselves down and move forward.

4. Don't be so hard on yourself

No one is perfect and no one gets everything right all the time, and that's okay!

We may make faux pas in social situations, we might make mistakes at work or not do something to the standard we expect of ourselves. Lower your expectations to more realistic levels.

Accept that you're human and you're fallible, just like everyone else on the planet!

5. Don't take on too much

Often, people with low self-esteem take on more and more responsibilities in an effort to prove to themselves that they have worth. In fact, when you take on more than you can handle you're not valuing yourself.

Be more assertive and learn to say "no" sometimes. Constantly saying "yes" will only give people the signal to keep coming to you, and overloading yourself will only lead to burn-out.

6. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

We talk about this in our post here. Sometimes, the best way to give our low self-esteem a kick up the backside is to face our fears head on.

Pushing through the fear can have a hugely positive impact on your sense of achievement.

7. Seek external support

Friends and family may mean well when offering support, but perhaps they miss the mark or say things which aren't always helpful. Having someone who is outside the situation, with an impartial perspective, can be beneficial when working with low self-esteem.

If you feel it might be helpful, consider seeing a Counsellor to help you explore your low self-esteem and how you can improve it.

What things do YOU do to help you feel better about yourself? Comment below 🙂

How Mindfulness Can Help With Anxiety

Blog banner How Mindfulness Can Help With Anxiety

Although Mindfulness practice has been happening in Eastern cultures for many years, it's only recently increased in popularity in the West. Its benefits have been promoted over here by people like Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme.

Despite an awareness of its benefits on mental health, there's still some confusion as to what Mindfulness is. In this post we'll be giving a whistle-stop tour of Mindfulness and some of the different practices you can try.

What Mindfulness is not

It might seem like we're beginning the wrong way round, but we think it's important to start with addressing the confusion that often surrounds Mindfulness. A lot of people mistake Mindfulness as a form of 'relaxation' and it seems as though the two terms are often used inter-changeably.

Whilst feeling relaxed can often be a by-product of practicing Mindfulness, it is not the aim of practicing Mindfulness.

What Mindfulness is

The aim of practicing Mindfulness is to draw our attention to the 'here and now', or, the 'present moment'. All too often, we spend our time thinking about the past (which we cannot change) and/or worrying about the future (which we may have little control over changing).

This quote from Buddha, sums this up perfectly:

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly".

This reference to worrying about things outside of our control, or things we can't change, seems all-too familiar when we look at the negative thinking patterns which feed into anxiety.

But isn't Mindfulness all 'woo-woo'??

When people think of Mindfulness, many may visualise monks sat high up on mountains, gazing over the landscape, and generally 'being all zen'.

Also, social media often portrays a rather 'stylistic' view of Mindfulness where meditating in a minimally-furnished room, whilst wearing designer yoga pants and a smile reserved only for the likes of Buddha, is deemed as a sure-fire way to reaching enlightenment.

Because of this, Mindfulness might seem rather unachievable to the 'average Joe', but in reality you don't need sparsely kitted-out rooms, yoga pants, or incense sticks to get there*.

*Equally, if you do want to use these things in your Mindfulness practice then go for it. We're not saying that these things are 'bad', but what we're saying is that you can start being mindful now without the need for anything else. It's your mind-set, not the material stuff, that'll help you be more mindful.

being more present

Mindfulness: It's not all about the Buddha

Mindfulness-based exercises

We're giving a very brief overview of some different Mindfulness practices here. You can do a Google search which will bring up plenty of results and you can look into them in more detail. If you do pick one or two that you're drawn to, it might be useful to start off with "guided" versions of these, meaning, a recording of someone to guide you through them. There are plenty of these on Youtube 🙂

Sitting meditation

There are lots of meditation apps out there nowadays, so you can pretty much meditate anywhere (okay maybe not, but you get what we mean).

You'll want to find a quiet place to meditate. You can either sit crossed-legged on the floor (you may want to sit on a cushion), or sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and arms resting where they're most comfortable.

The meditation will usually involve you closing your eyes and focusing on your breath; not trying to do anything particular with it, just observing it. During the course of the meditation, your thoughts will inevitably drift to past or future events. The idea is that as soon as you become aware of your mind drifting, you should bring it back to the present moment. Don't judge yourself for losing focus on the present, just keep bringing your mind back to it.

This is hard to do, but remember that it's Mindfulness practice and in order to get better at it that's exactly what we have to do. Two popular guided meditation apps are Headspace and Calm so free to check them out as they'll take you through the process.

Walking meditation

This type of meditation isn't just walking, it's about paying attention to your walking and is therefore done at a much slower pace. If you're worried about other people, you might want to do this in your back garden or pick a spot in the local park which you know is usually quiet.

Some people find this form of meditation easier than the sitting meditation, due to focusing on the bodily sensations that come from the walking. As with the sitting meditation, when you become aware of your mind wandering you bring it back to your breathing and walking.

Mindful eating

Before you scoff your [insert favourite food item here], this isn't just about eating. This is about really paying attention to what you're eating; less hamster and more sloth.

People often practice with a small piece of food like a square of chocolate or a raisin. Whatever the item, it's about paying attention to how it looks, smells and feels before even putting it in your mouth. Once you put it in your mouth the idea is not to chew it straight away either, but to be aware of things like the texture and the taste.

We're not suggesting you eat like this all the time, but trying this exercise will help bring an awareness to your eating that you may not have had before. After all, how often do we really pay attention when we're eating?

Other ways to be more mindful whilst eating could include: eating without distractions around you like the television or your mobile phone; paying attention to when you feel full and to stop eating at that point; and only eating when you feel genuinely hungry.

The body scan

The body scan is best done lying down on the floor or on your bed.

The idea of the body scan is to bring attention to how you feel in your body. You can start at the top of your head and move down through to your toes, or vice versa. Spend some time on each part of the body, paying attention to how it feels. Is it tense? Have you got any aches or pains? Whatever you observe, do this without judgment and without a wish to change it. Acknowledge however it feels and move onto the next part of the body.

There's a chance that you may fall asleep during this practice, and that's okay! If you feel yourself nodding off, perhaps move your body slightly just to bring yourself back to the exercise and continue with the body scan.

Yoga

Some people may not immediately associate yoga with Mindfulness, but we'd say it's a form of Mindfulness as part of the practice is to be mindful of the breath and the feelings in your body as you hold it in various positions.

There are plenty of good yoga videos available on Youtube. You might not want to start with this one, though.

How Mindfulness can help with anxiety

As we've talked about in previous posts, worrying about things which are outside of our control is likely to increase our levels of anxiety.

Mindfulness aims to keep us in the present moment because ultimately that's all we have, and therefore worrying about things which have happened/have yet to happen is a waste of mental energy.

It's worth repeating that Mindfulness is a practice, so it's not about being 'perfect' or getting it right all the time. The key is to bring our minds back to the present moment as soon as we become aware that they've drifted. Don't beat yourself up over your mind drifting; there should be no judgments in Mindfulness practice.

We hope this post has given you a good 'starter for ten' in terms of exploring more about Mindfulness. Have you got any other suggestions of Mindfulness practices that we've not listed here? Let us know in the comments 🙂

12/09/2018

The Process Of Negative Thinking

Blog banner The Process Of Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts can be tied to many things; our core belief, our past experiences, thoughts about the future, body image, going to new places, meeting new people and so on. We’re very good at focusing on the negatives, whether real or perceived.

We've used this analogy with our clients:

The 'hook' of negative thoughts

Imagine you’re sitting in a small row boat, floating on an ocean of negative thoughts. The thoughts are swirling all around the boat, making it bob up and down.

You cast your fishing rod over the side of the boat, and seconds later you have your first bite. You find the negative thought provides very little in the way of fight as you haul it into your boat.

As you examine the negative thought it seems to grow; getting bigger and bigger. Not only that, but more negative thoughts are now jumping onto the boat of their own accord. The more negative thoughts you explore, the more the others seem to launch themselves from the ocean.

Your boat is now heavily laden with negative thoughts, riding low in the water, and still the thoughts jump on board. In no time at all the boat starts to sink and you find yourself floating in the ocean.

Each negative thought you grasp to stay afloat takes you deeper down and you start being pulled towards the bottom of the ocean.

what happens with negative thoughts

The process of negative thinking

It might sound like a dark analogy, but it holds a certain truth in how a lot of us think. A negative thought enters our mind and instead of merely acknowledging it and letting it pass, we hook into and start analysing it.

This process of analysing only serves to create more negative thoughts. It enables “what if” thoughts to form, and then we start making assumptions. Some of these assumptions may be based on past experiences, while others may just be things we've concocted during the analysing process.

It's rare that any thoughts within this style of thinking are based upon actual facts. Let’s face it, our mind lies and creates infinite possibilities. It thinks of worse-case scenarios, magnifies situations to make them seem worse, and disables our ability to think clearly, rationally, and be pro-active in taking action.

Like the 'boat' example, you may have a worry which initially starts as a small, niggling worry. As you explore this worry it opens up a map of possible destinations, all of which become increasingly worse in their outcome. You start feeling more stressed and anxious, and as you turn the worry over and over in your mind more worries come to the surface.

How can we address negative thoughts?

Can you see the problem with this style of thinking? When we concentrate on the worry, it makes it increasingly bigger. A small worry may be a real worry which therefore needs attention, but ruminating over it will not resolve the problem.

So what can you do instead? What might help your thinking or your situation? The next blog post will address this. See you then!

Can you relate to the analogy of negative thoughts above? Let us know in the comments 🙂

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