Does your brain ever feel like it’s bouncing around without any control? When I read this quote in a post by Ayodeji Awosika in Medium, I knew exactly what it meant! Sometimes my thoughts just seem to ping pong all over the place with no direction and no guard rails. How’s that for mixing metaphors? But you get the idea. It’s especially troubling when the thoughts are critical in nature.
You’re not good enough. What’s wrong with y
ou? Why did you do that? Are you really going out looking like that? You haven’t accomplished enough! You should try harder. It’s like having a critical parent correcting you at all times. But wait, aren’t you grown now and your own boss? Yet you listen to those thoughts and allow them to affect the way you’re feeling. They sound so accurate and infallible. In actuality, they are simply thoughts that you had as a child which have worn deep grooves in your brain due to repetition. So how do you stop it? Through mindful meditation. I know, if you could do that, you wouldn’t have the bouncing thoughts anyway!! But there is an approach that can be very helpful. When your critical thoughts are yelling at you, just sit back and watch them as if it’s a young child with ADHD. Did you know that simply watching your thoughts is a form of mindful meditation? Then consider what would you do with a hyperactive child? Maybe redirect him, help focus his attention? Then, call it out for what it is. Say “you’re a critical thought” or “you aren't helpful right now.” By doing this, you are turning the tables on the thought. It’s very beneficial to just sit back and converse with this hyperactive part of yourself rather than obey it. Awosika writes “these days, when I’m feeling doubt, I ask myself, ‘What is this? Is this thought valid? Does it have any substance?’” As you’re doing this, the thoughts start to subside and you can get back to being the boss of you! I would love to hear from you. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page (past the banner of recent posts) to leave a comment.