Authentic Living, Awareness, Choices, Choosing Balance, Controlling our Emotions, Emotions, Growth, Mindfulness, Personal Resonsibility, Positive Choices, Self-Care

Avoiding the Mental Spiderwebs that Trap Us in Negative Thoughts

Pixabay spiderweb on branch

Oh, how times have changed. Days can easily become a blur. Minutes fade into hours into days into weeks and the lack of diversity or change of scenery can darken our outlook.

We’ve been stripped bare of the freedom to do what makes our life move and have a rhythm that helps us feel good. Our normal is gone and who knows if it’ll ever be the same. It’s an uncomfortable feeling being immobilized and as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, it’s easy to become bombarded with many, many thoughts and emotions.

This is a potentially dangerous pitfall we need to avoid, and I call it mental quicksand. It’s way too easy for our brain to get stuck in negative muck and it’s detrimental to our emotional and mental health.

Everyone is “stuck” at home. We’re limited in opportunities to take a time out or engage in other activities that allows are brain to change our line of thinking. In home 24/7, it’s impossible to get distance and find space from emotionally challenging relationships or harsh self-judgment. Not to mention there are limited in-house options to stimulate our brain and keep us from focusing on what seems to be wrong or what we don’t like with our life. Please, be careful.

Self-reflection is healthy but sitting too long with negative thoughts and feelings we can get caught in a continuous loop of thoughts that we just can’t escape. Thoughts attract like thoughts and we can become absorbed in the rumination of negative memories that can then connect to other thoughts that are completely unrelated, making us believe we have even more problems than we do. This compounds our worries. It’s not only unproductive, it’s unhealthy. Here is where the pandemic can not only upheave our life with real physical danger but has the potential to put us in a blender and shred our emotions.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” 

Marcus Aurelius

Right now, it’s hard to have a positive perspective about an uncertain future. Not knowing when and how we’ll be able to re-engage life with the freedom to move openly and not knowing how our life will ultimately be affected with the economy certainly can appear gloomy. Until then, it’s crucial to activate several approaches to diffuse any destructive and damaging behavior or actions.

Here are some simple suggestions you may consider trying to spark a positive outlook:

  • It’s important to have a bank of good, positive memories that we can call on to battle our negative thoughts. Write down sweet moments in your life or talk to good friends and family to help you recall when things were satisfying and record those too. Go through any photos of good times and tap into the details of what was happening in them and you may be surprised at the physical reactions that get stimulated by mere recollection. This is good stuff.
  • Don’t try to tackle problems that you can’t resolve now. Make a list of changes you’d like to make and take the time you have now to research possible solutions. Which ones will yield the most powerful results to your life in the big picture? Then be patient. Get through this time when our world is upside down and promise to wait until you’re back on solid, firm ground and feeling clear and peaceful before trying to fix anything, especially when it involves other people.

Presently, our life has been boiled down to simply existing. Missing all the fun and colorful ingredients that help make it yummy and filling and nourishing. We’re used to eating from a buffet of options and having it ripped away is certainly a big disruption.

Be proactive and continue to find ways to keep your mind from being on constant replay of “stuff” that isn’t right, or you believe you need to fix right now. Read, music, dance, exercise, daydream, journal, call family and friends, but please find a way to stop over-thinking in its tracks. It’s counterproductive! It’s the enemy.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” 

Theodore Roosevelt

Keep it Simple,
Just Teri

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