Are you ready to start a constant duel with your thoughts? I’ve mentioned before the reason why it needs to be constant. It will be harder in the beginning, but with practice, we’ll develop a habit of countering them constantly. There will be times when it might be too hard to find the required resources for the battle, but what matters is that we do it most of the time.
Those dragons are very deceitful so we need to be careful how we approach them. The first thing we need to know is how those dragons look like. We need to see how big they are, how many heads they have, if they can fly or if they can spit fire. We need to know their strengths and their weaknesses so we can prepare a plan for when to dodge and when to strike. In order to make this plan, we need to pay attention to our thoughts.
Whenever we catch ourselves drifting towards a bad mood, we need to ask the question “What goes through my mind right now?” and write down the answers. Focus on those thoughts. We’ll give those dragons a shape, otherwise we won’t know what we’re fighting with.
“You mentioned this before! Have you forgotten it? You already showed some examples of how to fight those thoughts!” I know, I know. I’m not that crazy. I mentioned some situations and some examples, but I think that in order to get to the root cause of those thoughts (to the core beliefs), we need to have a more complete overview. We need to name that bloody dragon and we can only do it once we have a shape of it. The same core belief can manifest in different ways with different thoughts and to get to it, we need to see those thoughts. Think about this like a nest. We can fight those crazy hornets (which are pure evil flying), but if we don’t know where the nest is, we’ll fight for nothing. Countering the occasional thoughts is useful to stop them from fucking up our mood (if we catch them on time), but the real battle is with the core beliefs.
We can do this in two ways: the messy way or the clean way . Our lives can be pretty active from time to time so we might not be able to do this in the clean way, which is more helpful, but we still want to change our mindset, so we can do it in the messy way. This implies having a piece of paper and a pen with us. If your life is like an ant-hill and you cannot have a piece of paper and a pen, use your smartphone and write down whatever goes through your mind, especially when you notice your mood dropping down faster than your pants when you cannot keep your shit together. This can be used to keep a record to see what has an impact on you. If the same thought appears over and over again, you can write it again or you can draw a + next to it.
Here are some examples of automatic thoughts that have the ability to screw up the mood:
– I think I’m not good enough to be promoted. +++
– I’m useless. +
– I don’t have enough money to chase my dreams. ++++
– Nobody likes me. +++
– All the bad things happen to me. ++
– I don’t deserve to be happy. +
– He/she is probably mad at me and he/she hates me. +
– This is too good to be true.
– I live a shitty life. +
I named this the messy way because we’re not giving any background to it so after a few days we cannot even remember what triggered those thoughts. It’s usually something from our environment that triggers an automatic thought.
How aware are you of your hurtful thoughts?