How can you make a difference in your mental muggings when you’re in surviving mode?
Last time I talked about dealing with compulsive negative thoughts from a triggered, reactive place (victim space). Taking baby steps to comfort yourself and step yourself out of victim space towards survivor space is powerful.
Sometimes those tiny steps are all we can take. Each of them is an intentional act of courage that can transform your patterns and train your brain to relax and calm when upsetting things happen.
The cool thing is, when you move into what I call Survivor space — when you feel calmer and have more resources inside your head — you can start taking stronger and more powerful steps forward.
Please note: if you’re in victim space, please honor where you are. Trying to move too fast and push yourself can INCREASE frustration and a sense of powerlessness. Finding a balance between moving yourself forward and listening to what you need is a skill that is well worth developing.
If you’re in survivor space, you don’t need to just comfort yourself and calm things down (but keep doing those things, of course, as needed).
In survivor space you can actually start to firmly and lovingly direct your mind.
“What!?! What if I feel like my mind is controlling ME!?!”
Truthfully, we CAN direct our thoughts.
I’m not talking about not feeling what you feel, and I’m not talking about regulating your self-expression.
Consciously selecting your thoughts and encouraging some and turning down the volume on others is a skill. And when you practice this skill, you can reduce or eliminate Mental Muggings!
Quick announcement: For those of you who want to take this to the next level, Rick and I will be running a 2.5 hour mini-intensive on Ending Mental Muggins on Saturday, September 19th. For more information:
So how do you consciously select your thoughts?
First — just notice them consciously… and add some imagination. Imagine those negative thoughts are small rowdy hamsters running through your mind. Watch them…
And notice that you don’t have to believe them.
Just consider that thought. You don’t have to believe the scary ideas running around in your head.
I’ll take this further in the next email… but for now, let’s tap!
Karate Chop: I have all these thoughts. Or maybe they have me! I’m choosing to notice them as they have me.
Even though I have these thoughts, and they’re mostly negative and scary, I choose to pay attention to them right now… and consider the fact that I don’t have to believe them!
Even though these thoughts have me… Or at least that’s how it seems… What if I was open to consistently and deliberately noticing them, considering them logically, and choosing to believe only the ones that are useful and empowering.
Top of the Head: I have a lot of thoughts.
Eyebrow: Sometimes it feels like those thoughts control me.
Side of the Eye: I think the thoughts are real.
Under the Eye: They feel terrifying.
Under the Nose: Those thoughts make me feel disempowered.
Chin: The thoughts make me feel bad.
Collarbone: But I keep believing them!
Under the Arm: What if I didn’t have to?
Top of the Head: What if I started by just noticing those thoughts.
Eyebrow: If my daughter or son were watching a tv show that was this negative…
Side of the Eye: Would I let it keep playing?
Under the Eye: Or would I tell them it was time to change the channel?
Under the Nose: What if it’s time to change my mental channel?
Chin: Or at least recognize that the thoughts might not be true.
Collarbone: After all – how many of them actually came true?
Under the Arm: In all the years of “practicing” negative thoughts?
Top of the Head: I see you, hamsters.
Eyebrow: It’s time to calm down and change the wheels you’re running on.
Side of the Eye: You can’t run on the negative wheels anymore!
Under the Eye: I’m going to look for positive wheels for you to run on.
Under the Nose: And in the meantime,
Chin: I don’t have the believe the squeaking.
Collarbone: I know those thoughts aren’t real.
Under the Arm: I choose to notice them,
Top of the Head: And not believe them so much!
Take a deep breath.
Notice how you feel.
Your body can’t lie. You might feel relaxed and easy after this. Or you might have some fears and anxiety coming up. If so- just be gentle and soothe yourself.
New habits take some time to anchor. So keep being intentional about noticing your thoughts, and turning the knob down on the ‘believing’ volume. You don’t have to believe those negative thoughts!
I’d love to hear what you think. Again- I can’t reply to everyone, but if you hit reply to this email or comment on the website and share, I will read it. What comes up for you around this? What do you notice?
I’ll be sharing more on this in the next email.
In the meantime, check out the link for our mini-intensive on Saturday 19th. We’d love to help you end mental muggings and get you ahead of the curve and change who runs your mind!
To Clear and Powerful Minds!