I'm so excited to have amazing author, Consuelo Baehr! Sometimes the holidays leave us stressed out! Consuelo has some great ideas that will help us get through that stress!
That continuous loop of repetitive thought. Begone!
Yesterday I spent much of the day in “thought purgatory.” Thought purgatory is when the same useless scenario plays on a continuous loop in your head.
Holiday stress sometimes brings it on. Being trapped in a continuous loop of repetitive thoughts is horrid (I love that word). After a few hours of this I turned to my old pal, Eckhart Tolle for advice. I went to his free meditation and tried to steady my mind so I could take it in. It was tough going for a while but finally I really heard what he was saying. “When you identify with the voice in your head that never stops speaking, you become the voice and it is a dreamlike state.” Yep, that’s it.
When that happens you can’t have a clear thought. Everything is seen through the judgment of the mind. Halfway through the meditation I was able to have a clear thought. Here’s the process I used and golly gee, it worked.
I asked myself:
Why are you so strangled by this situation?
What would be the outcome if the situation continued as you imagine it?
How would the outcome impact your life?
How would that affect your day-to-day well-being going forward?
Just by isolating all the facts and writing them down, my anxiety level was reduced by two thirds.
Then I examined the answer to the last question: “How would that affect your well-being going forward?” I found that while the worst outcome (an outcome of my own imagination) would be frustrating, I could live with it.”
Then I did the one practice I’ve learned from Tolle that I find brilliant and effective. I took possession of the situation. I said quietly: “this thing is mine” but I didn’t JUDGE it as good or bad. It was just there - something to be acknowledged: “ Yes, okay, I see you there and you belong to me.” Immediately the sting was gone and I was able to dissipate the “thinking loop.” Throughout the day, the old thoughts tried to get some traction but each time they had less and less strength.
Now here’s the bonus of this process. When I stopped judging something as good or bad, I let the thing out of the prison of negative thought and it become neutral. Sometimes, it becomes good. I stepped back and allow life to flow on. I didn’t keep the situation in irons. I was interested in the outcome but not dependent on it. It sounds hard to do but letting go of the judgment boosts your ability to step back.
This is exactly what happened to me yesterday and I wanted to share it.
Consuelo Saah Baehr is a novelist, once traditionally published and currently thrilled to be participating in the great new era of independent publishing.
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