How We Manage Challenging Thought Processes
‘Just be positive’, ‘Fake it till you make it’ and ‘Just keep swimming’ are all phrases that have frequented friend groups, work situations and general chit chat over the years for yours truly. We want to ensure we are the best influence to those around us and so, we say and do what we think is going to support them in those situations and sometimes, to nip their negative spirals in their tracks.
Actually, thought processes are quite often deep rooted and so, outside of saying the right things, we need to work on getting to the root, understanding at a micro-level and then, changing those processes and how they work for us overall.
With heavy thought processes come a lot of emotions. They lead us to feel particular feelings and can send us spiralling in different directions. These can be triggered by the likes of comments people make, surprises in our schedule and day or just generally not feeling our absolute best.
I can remember one of the teachers from my coaching course saying to me years ago ‘You are the sky, everything else is the weather’. As thoughts float by, it can be tempting to attach ourselves to them and to believe them to be real. We’re thinking them so they are focused solely in our brains so feel so strong in the moment. Separating can be a challenge and then, being rational can be an even bigger one.
As I’ve moved through various phases or life – some super positive and some challenging, visiting thoughts and how they impact my behaviour has been an area of focus for me. When feeling down, I try to not believe what I think. Similarly, when I’m doing super well, I aim to stay grounded and visit the thoughts with humility.
Some tools that I find helpful that are absolutely free are listed below. Feel free to add more or to post comments with your experience.
WoeBot App. This App is CBT focused and offers prompts, check ins and specific focus areas that help to manage yourself and thought processes. Woebot pops up on the phone each day and can prompt some positive reinforcement or to check in on what you are thinking.
Podcasts of interest. To understand your thoughts processes, the more content you can consume and understand is imperative. A recommendation is ‘Unfuck your brain by Kara Lowenthall’.
Journal your thoughts in a brain-dump and separate their validity between ‘Truth’ and ‘What to question?’. Thoughts are not facts and so, they can vary according to what is happening for you. By questioning them by saying them out loud, writing them down or reflecting in silence, this can be a major support.
Look at webinars, online sessions and other content for free. This can include Chopra, articles and discussion groups. Depending what is going on for you, this can vary.
Action creates energy. Generally, when it comes to a problem or uncomfortable feeling, sitting with it can generally work wonders in order to reflect. Taking action is key to moving yourself to a healthy place. Taking inspired action is even more important.
Ask yourself these questions before taking action:
- What would help me to feel better right now? (use the resources listed above to support you).
- In a month from now, what would help me to feel better about this situation? What would move me to that point?
- Check in with your values regularly. Are your values in alignment with the action you are about to take? If so, proceed slowly. If not, look at alternatives.
When it comes to our thoughts, they can be our ally. Understanding them and finding methods to allow them to serve you are key.
[…] As per a previous post, I shared a reminder that, some of us think to speak while others speak to think. We all process things differently and this can affect how we cope in various situations and how we behave and aim to understand each other. Our thoughts are our own and they can influence how we feel and then, behave. Using different mechanisms to understand our thoughts and beliefs is therefore important. Learn some techniques to manage your thoughts. […]