And 3 steps to follow for when they happen.
More often than we'd like for it to happen our minds take over how our days end up going. And how helpful is that? Our lives are FULL. Full of work meetings, kids' activities, social attempts, personal appointments...
Throughout all the things that take up our time our mind can sneak in some pretty rotten thoughts.
Here are some intrusive thoughts that we moms often have:
I’ll take care of myself later
I’ll always hate my job
Why can’t I do it all like that mom
I never know what I’m doing
Will my kids always love me
What if this never gets better
I’m not doing enough
I don't have enough time
A lot of these thoughts involve things happening *later* or not happening *enough*. (Why are we the hardest on ourselves?)
And we typically believe these thoughts because they’re repeated over and over again in our minds.
So, instead of allowing your mind to run the show here are three easy steps to practice instead:
Step #1 - You're going to hear the thought.
Listen to the words your mind is saying. What is the phrase on repeat in your head lately?
Step #2 - You're going to notice if it's one of those "same old stories" you've heard from your mind before.
After nailing down what your mind is telling you, let's name the story. Maybe it's the "not good enough story" or the "comparison story." Placing a name to the story will help you separate the thought your mind is trying to sell you from your reality and the future within your control.
"The mind loves telling stories; in fact, it never stops." – Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap
Step #3 - You're going to say back to those thoughts: "I'm not buying it."
Imagine those thoughts/stories are ads running on the radio station of your mind. Some aren't too annoying, some are actually entertaining or helpful. Then there are the truly aggravating ads that seem to never end. But guess what? As horribly annoying and ridiculous these ads may be, we still have a choice. We still do not have to buy what they are selling.
It's the same thing with your thoughts. Simply because your mind creates a thought does not mean that, 1. it's true, and, 2. you have to perpetuate the thought with your future choices.
Instead, choose to make a new story. Choose to not buy into the "not good enough" story and the "anxious all the time" story.
Bonus #4 - You're going to write this on a sticky note and put it somewhere you are often as a reminder.
"I'm not buying it!" Four easy words to throw on a notepad or write in your planner. The more we see the words the more often we'll be reminded to practice this new habit.
Personally, I like to post reminders up in my closet. I'm there every morning, every night, and often in between. I find it a great place to read daily mantras, track daily goals, and rehearse new stories like this!