Thoughts on thoughts

Thoughts are difficult to change just by making it happen. You can’t think new thoughts. I know I’ve tried personally. I’ve worked with countless women too who are exactly the same.

Such as:

Saying ‘I am calm’ when you feel anxious DOES NOT work.

Rather than calming you down – it often does the very polar opposite.

And I can understand that. Imagine you’re having an argument with your partner or your mum and they tell you to calm down – what happens? Me personally – the red mist descends and you don’t want to be anywhere near me.

There’s various tools and ways you can support yourself with thoughts.

Here’s something that REALLY works for me personally (who has a tendency for the anxious 24/7 thought cycle too).

Here’s what *can* work.

Getting clear on the RESULT you want, who you would be and what actions you would be doing rather than focussing in on your thoughts.

Here’s some examples to really illustrate it:

Scenario 1 – social anxiety – night out in the pub

Might present like:

Anxious thinking: “I don’t want to go”, “what about if no one talks to me”, “what about if people think I’m fat, stupid, boring”

Anxious emotions: Fear, panic

Anxious behaviour: Obsessively checking who is going/what you’re wearing, rehearsing conversations, making potential excuses, not going, drinking way too much, hiding in a corner

Anxious feelings: nerves in the pit of the stomach

Could be:

  1. What do I want to get from the event? Fun, meeting new friends, connection, headspace
  2. What would you feel? Excited, fun, interested, laid back, rational, mature
  3. What would you be doing? Taking time to get organised, texting your friends with funny memes, smiling, dancing with loud music, putting boundaries in place, making really clear arrangements in an appropriate time frame

Scenario 2 – belief that you can’t cope

Might present like:

Anxious thinking: “I can’t cope”, “this is awful”, “it’s not fair”

Anxious emotions: Fear, panic, numbing out, anger

Anxious behaviour: obsessive thinking, stuck in a rut, self absorbed, crying, helplessness, phone use, rage

Anxious feelings: nerves in stomach, feeling like a weight on your chest

Could be:

  1. What is it you want right now? Ease, control, assured, help, time, space
  2. What would you feel? Rational, wise, mature, resilient, calm
  3. What would you be doing? Putting in place boundaries, asking for help, journaling, EFT, yoga, breath work, sleep hygiene, seeing the big picture, phone free for big blocks of time, walking

In these two scenarios – can you see by focussing on the end point can change your thinking now? It’s a model called Be, Do and Have.

Be, Do and Have is something I use regularly with my clients and personally. Most days in fact personally. Because like everyone else – I don’t have my shit together all the time. I have to work at it. It’s a muscle I need to use all the time. The ‘keeping my shit together’ muscle.

You can’t magically change your thoughts, but you can change your behaviour which CHANGES YOUR THOUGHTS.

If you’d like help to cut through the 24/7 thoughts and be able to really learn how to keep your shit together, get in touch below.

Much love, Tricia xxx

Get in touch

Other posts you might be interested in…

My Experience with Belief Coding

My Experience with Belief Coding

You may have heard about Belief Coding and are wondering what it is and whether it's legit. I've got you. In this article I talk about my experiences of using it in my practice. I also cover some of the most common conserns my clients have expressed about it. My...

What does confidence really look like?

What does confidence really look like?

Confession time. One of the pieces of work I often do is a future you visualisation. It’s part of solutions focussed brief therapy is embodying the you that you want to be. Something in the last week shifted when I saw someone else talking about it and I realised that...

Which wolf are you feeding?

Which wolf are you feeding?

I’ve shared this parable before (a long time ago)… but want to share it from a slightly different perspective.  I love love love this parable.   Tale of the two wolves….  The story features two characters: a grandfather and his grandson. The grandfather explains to...