I’m sure if you read my last post, you will be familiar with the guided meditation I mentioned, about a octopus and the bubble. Today I wanted to teach you two very simple but very powerful phrases which can also help you disempower those painful thoughts.
One of the hardest things with intrusive thoughts is being able to disengage from them. Once they enter our minds and begin to stress us out, there is no way to detach from them, no way to disengage from them. No way out until our brains decide to let go.
But what if I told you that there are some simple phrases that you can use to stop your brain before it starts? What if I told you that a few simple words can make it so that you don’t even have to try and disengage?
Phrase 1: So what?
When you challenge a thought with “so what?”, you are asking it what it means, what importance does it have? For example, if, like me, you’ve been on a busy train platform and you’ve suddenly thought “what if I jump in front of the train right now?”, the natural reaction would be to worry. But what if, instead of worrying, we ask ourselves “so what?” , what does it mean? What logic can we gain from this thought?
The answer is simple: If we jump onto the track in front of a train, we are going to die.
Our thoughts do not reflect our true desires, they are our brains warning us of the potential dangers around us.
Being near the railway line does not necessarily indicate that you want to jump onto the track (unless you are suicidal, in which case please talk to someone), it just indicates that you know the tracks are not a safe place to be.
We can apply it to almost any situation:
What if she/he doesn’t love me?
Do you need another person to live, anyway? That’s codependency, my friend. Discover yourself, be yourself and love you first. Never, ever give anyone else power over you.
That interview was stressful, what if I don’t get the job?
So what? Maybe it wasn’t the best job for you anyway, maybe there is something much better out there waiting for you.
Phase 2: I don’t know
One of the hardest things to accept in life is uncertainty. In an uncertain world, the one thing we all want is certainty and guarantee. We cling to the past, afraid of the future. We cling to what we know because we are frightened of what awaits us, but the truth is, we really don’t know, and we never will know until we try.
How did I know I could make clotted cream fudge? I didn’t. How did I know that I would find my strength after losing my Dad? I had to wait and see for myself.
When we accept that we don’t know, we give up the need for certainty and we embrace change. We welcome each day with open arms and a thirst for what’s new. You become curious about life and excited for each day. Instead of putting things into orderly boxes, you accept that sometimes things fit somewhere in between.
The only way you’ll know, the only way you’ll ever have answers, is if you try.
How do you cope with inrtrusive thoughts? Let me know in the comments!