We have been looking at ways of how to help us keep our mood in a good place even when life can be a challenge to us. This is a key thing not only in helping our mood but also in keeping our levels of anxiety in a stable and low place. If we spend lots of time with those worries and ‘what-if’s’, we will be creating lots of inner fear and anxiety and if it is left unchecked, it can run riot within us. A good plan is to stop this before it starts, if it’s just at the beginning of starting to ruminate, then the anxiety levels will still be at a low level and it is much easier to break from the pattern of worry at this point. But if we have let this get out of hand then it can become something that will be much bigger and so in turn, much harder to switch our mindsets out of. Our minds are amazing and are constantly supporting us, but if we send these worrying messages into our minds then our minds will listen. When our minds listen to these worries and fears they don’t just do nothing, they start the process of protecting us and the more we worry, the bigger the protection becomes. This is the fight-flight and freeze response, which has made us the most overpopulated species on the planet and keeps us safe in dangerous situations. But if we are overthinking and worrying about something then our minds won’t realise that this isn’t a real-life danger and will start acting as if it is.
So always remember to nip those worries in the bud and don’t let them get blown out of proportion or you will start feeling your anxiety increasing and feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes this is easier to do than others, if things are very important or emotive then it can be hard to stop ourselves from overthinking. You can use this approach to help you push your mind out of the worry state and into the moment. This is the key to being calm and relaxed, if we are in the moment then we are not in our heads, if we are not in our heads then we are not worrying. Learning to stay in the moment is ultimately a challenge for all of us and is a great thing to practice at achieving. If you can feel the worry level escalating within you, this is when you need the double distraction technique; as, the bigger the worries become, the harder it is to stop thinking about them.
With the double distraction technique, we can help to push our minds away from the state of worry and fear, getting us back into the moment. This is a simple yet effective way to help distract you from the worries, all you need to do is work on doing two things at once. You flood your mind with so much to focus on that it will push those worries out of your head. If you have become anxious with the worry, then after a while your anxiety levels will drop down too. Here are a few ideas, you could be playing with your children and teaching them how to juggle, you could be plaiting your daughter’s hair while singing songs together. You could be watching tv and knitting at the same time, listening to classical music and paying lots of attention to the music, while doing sudoku. Maybe you could be doing football kick-ups and you can be counting how many you have done out loud or even baking a cake while listening to a talking book.
The list is endless really, it’s about looking at what you like doing and finding a way to blend two things together to help distract your mind from the worries and get you back into the moment. Like with any of these new habits we are creating for our new mindset, it is good to make lists of things that you can do in different situations, you can even add them to the list we made in the last blog. Where you targeted worry areas like driving in the car or going to sleep, with those ideas of distraction, now you have the extra options of using these double distraction techniques. Not only will this help you in that moment, allowing you to distract from those worries but over time it will teach your mind that you don’t get lost in habits of worry, you distract yourself in what you’re doing and come back into the moment. Never let yourself overindulge in the worries, as just like overindulging with food, it will feel painful and have a knock-on effect on how we feel even the day after. Balance is the key to many things in life and for a positive mindset and upbeat mood, it’s important to not OD on things, particularly worries.
Never fool yourself that it is in any way a constructive thing to be worrying, it’s not. Only brainstorming and using a positive proactive way to make changes, is going to help us. Our minds can try and trick us so don’t get sucked in with the delusions that worry will help or it’s what we should be doing. It is not and never will be, keep focused on changing the things that you can and letting go of the things you can’t. With this new tool of double distraction to help you distract from the worries and come back into the moment, it will help you stay more positive and upbeat, making your life a happier one.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x