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Dealing with Automatic Negative Thoughts Part Two - Organising your Thoughts.

Friday, 9 June 2017


Following on from my last post regarding Automatic Negative Thoughts and how to spot / deal with them, I am now going to talk about to how to organise your thoughts better as I have found that this really helps me stop having so much going on in my head.

Rather than finding myself with a head full of white noise I can quash any niggling reminders that come into my head because now my thoughts and my life are organised.

All I  do differently nowadays is have a routine and have LISTS. By living a life with a bit more structure and organisation and writing myself daily lists and setting tasks I have found myself feeling a lot less stressed and that I have been able to stop negative thoughts before they even begin to form in my head.

Routine wise, the biggest change I have made (which has also had the biggest impact on my life) is having a 'dump day' this is simply having a day of the week where I get all of the shit jobs done that I don't want to do and would usually put off; phone calls, emails, form filling and all that comes in between. If it needs doing it gets added to my Monday dump list (Monday is 'Dump Day') and then I forget about it. Done. ANT you can try and remind me about it as much as you want and try to disrupt my routine but I have dealt with it and I will sort it on DUMP DAY. Piss off.

By setting yourself a day aside to do all of the shit things you really don't want to do you will really sort your brain out a LOT. You will also feel so much better because of being organised enough to get all of those crappy tasks done.

Not only that, every time a thought creeps in about something you are yet to do you can be happy in knowing it will be done on DUMP DAY. Or that you have already done it. That way you can concentrate on the one, current task you are doing and not have three or four different ones on the go with a head full of thoughts telling you what to do next.

Honestly, you will be surprised how much this helps you out. If I suddenly remember something that needs sorting or someone that needs phoning I think 'It's fine I will do it Monday' If of course it can't wait until Monday I do it as soon as possible but because it is rare something is that urgent it still means my mind is less frantic.I have a list on my phone and I add the task to it.

The next thing is lists, lovely long lists! Making lists of everything has really helped my mental wellbeing a lot. A LOT. I never realised how good making lists was!

Every evening I make a list of tasks I need to get through the next day. During really crappy periods the lists can be as simple as:

Get Up
Make Bed
Have Shower
Make breakfast
Empty Dishwasher

Those kind of tasks can seem silly and even obvious but when you're feeling a bit worthless, stuff such as washing yourself can go out of the window. By having a simple task list to follow you can feel as though you have a purpose. There is something extremely satisfying about ticking off the tasks on your list too!

This is a small but very progressive step in helping break negative thinking. You will find that once you get into this new habit that you cancel out a lot of the thinking you were doing before. Not all negative thoughts are about your appearance or personality, they can be about putting pressure on yourself and worrying about everything that needs doing.

Once you are more aware of how to stop a thought before it progresses or how to organise thoughts better it will help you to beat the other thoughts about appearance and self worth. You will begin to look at those thoughts more logically. You will be used to stopping thoughts in their tracks too rather than letting them spiral out of control.

In my final post of this series we will talk more about ANT that are more personal and about self worth but you will find once you are organising your thoughts more as well as recognising ANT it will begin to become easier.

Take care till then! X


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