A Common Theme
When we help people who are struggling – for whatever reason, we often reach a point where it becomes apparent that they are not actually able to choose their own thoughts. People react automatically to situations rather than choosing how they think, far more often than you might expect.
Variations on a Theme
Sometimes it is clear when a client is learning the 7-11 breathing process that they really struggle to maintain their chosen thought pattern and stay focused on their chosen task for more than a few seconds. We make a point of suggesting that this technique is most effective when you reach the ability to keep it up for a full fifteen minutes without getting distracted and forgetting to count.
Other examples are when a client says they want to do something, but their actions are clearly in opposition to their stated desire. Perhaps they want to stop worrying, but they currently put in 24 hours of ‘worry practice’ every day, or they want to stop obsessing but regard their thought patterns as being something entirely beyond their control. (Please note; if this IS the reality of the situation and thought patterns ARE beyond control then this is a time to come for help). Phobias are another typical example, you can ‘know’ that a spider is harmless, but be totally unable to control the thought of “I must get out of here immediately” whenever you see one.
Techniques for Taking Control
We use a variety of techniques to help people regain control of their most valuable resource – their MIND. But a new one which I came across this week (from Andy Shaw) is to practice holding a really positive memory from your past experience for just 15 seconds. Try it and see! This is more difficult that it sounds for most people. If you struggle to hold a positive thought for just 15 seconds, then you are simply NOT in control of your own mind.
Once you have mastered it, try doing it for 15 minutes. One way of keeping it up is to spend the time making a list of every positive experience that you can remember.
If you notice that your thoughts are too often thoughts that you did not choose, then you might want to contact us to find out how we can help you take back control of your most valuable resource.