How to stop that runaway train in your mind

The world has been a little crazy lately, right?

It has been difficult for me to focus my attention. I want to help everyone, all at the same time.

I know though, that when my mind is spinning, it is a sign that I need to come back to myself and refocus my energy and thoughts. 

I find that I tend to spin out in worry thoughts and think about the worst case scenarios of the future: Will my loved ones be safe? Will they stay healthy? What can I do to support them? What will the economy do? Will my patients be safe and stay healthy? Will I have to do inpatient medicine (a skill that I haven’t done in years)? 

I’m sure you have your own thoughts swirling around too. 

So how can we get back to focusing and be productive?

 First, I allow myself grace. For real. I stop and just breathe and re-center.

Then, I shift my focus on being aware and curious about my thoughts. I treat myself like I do others – I give myself love, caring and support.

I also practice suspending judgement, I don’t criticize or blame as my thoughts are snowballing on themselves. I step back and watch. And continue to be curious.

Last, if nothing else is working (cuz, some days, none of the above is helpful for me), I look at the thoughts as they tumble by (it helps me to think about thoughts like clouds moving across the sky or like water moving down a river) and pick out the ones that are bothering me most. 

If you’re thinking that this sounds too hard or to weird – it’s totally okay. It took me time to learn how to do this. It takes practice. It is not a difficult skill but it does take some practice and the ability to try. All we’re doing is refocusing our brain and its swirling thoughts. If nothing else is working for you, it’s worth a try.

Next I write those thoughts down and then look at them with my “adult” brain. You have one too – it comes pre-installed with your primitive brain portion, which is the part that is freaking out on you right now. I promise, the adult brain is up there somewhere too. May have cobwebs, but it is there.  

Writing down the thoughts is key. It is super easy to say “nah, I’ve got this, I can look at my thoughts and see them, I don’t need to write them down”. I promise, you do need to write them down. It changes the way your brain processes them. 

Next I make a conscious choice – is this though helpful? Is it serving me in a productive way? If so, I can choose to keep it. 

If not, I can choose to adjust it so it benefits me or choose to throw it out and not believe it at all. Just like that. Decide which thoughts are useful and which ones are causing you suffering and choose to stop thinking them.

Start here. It is this simple to start getting back to you. 

If you’re interested in working on this further, join my Stop Being Stuck program now. This program gives you that extra support, community, and insight that you are looking for.

Especially if stress has you overeating, drinking too much, or otherwise not coping in a healthy way.

Let’s stay in touch.

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