Hi all! I was working with a client today and the subject of mind chatter came up.
We were talking about some techniques about how to deal with mind chatter.
What I mean by mind chatter is when your brain gets so focused on a negative scenario or a what-if scenario that just keeps going around and around and around - and you can't stop.
How do you get yourself out of that loop? Because that's what it is - your mind is stuck in this energy loop and it just keeps going round and round. "What if? What if? What if?"
Usually it's not something positive. Usually it's a negative what-if scenario.
So here are a couple techniques that you can try to help you get out of this mind chatter if you get stuck in it.
The first one is to give your mind chatter a what-if scenario that is so improbable that it stops the loop.
So for my client today, the scenario that I gave him is I said, "Well she could have been eaten by a whale." And he literally stopped and he laughed. And he goes, "Come on, that's not gonna happen." And I said "Exactly it's not gonna happen. But your mind chatter stopped, didn't it?"
And so the idea behind this is to come up with a scenario where it stops that looping and it makes your brain go "Yeah, right!" Because what it's telling you, the what-if scenarios it’s giving you most likely are "Oh yeah, right’s" as well, it just can't see it.
The second technique. Use this technique if you are basing the what-if scenarios based on a past experience.
So you have something that happened before and so now the what-if scenario: "Oh well this happened before, so this is probably going to happen. Or this same thing and I'm gonna get hurt. Or this what-if scenario is gonna happen.”
Here your mind is going around and around about that.
Really look at the details of that past experience. Really find all the different aspects of it. And then compare them to the aspects and the details of the current story that you have. Generally, you'll find this looks like two plus two which equals four and this looks like three plus three which equals six.
And you can tell yourself and stop your mind chatter by your brain looking at that logically and saying, "Oh wait a minute! This is not the same scenario. This here is not the same scenario as this was back here, because the details aren't the same."
The last technique that I recommend is to ask yourself: "Do I have enough information?"
What do I actually know, and what am I assuming? And when you can get yourself to actually stop and look at that, you'll find that most of the time you know very little and you're assuming an awful lot of information. And we all know the saying about assumptions. And what the word assumed means.
Don't allow yourself to do that then. You'll be able to look and say, "Oh wait a minute. I don't have enough information to play what-if. I don't know..I just don't know. I'm going to have to wait and find out."
Once you get that pattern, that cycle, that loop to stop, that's all you're looking for with these techniques - is to stop that loop.
Then once you've stopped the loop, you need to distract yourself. You need to focus on something else to get yourself from going back into that loop. You don't want to do that.
So, imagine what the next day is going to look like - whether it's at work or whether it's play. Re-live a movie in your head, go read a book, go clean your refrigerator – just something that you can focus on and do so your brain doesn't crawl back into that loop again.
And if, while you are distracting yourself, you do have thoughts that start to come in and start to create those what-ifs again, just be real gentle with yourself.
And just say, "Thank you thought, but I'm focused on cleaning the refrigerator, I'm focused on watching this movie right now, I'm focused on reading this book." And just say "Thank you." and just gently set it to the side.
"Thank you but not right now."
That reaction of being very gentle will allow the brain to calm itself down and not re-start that loop again.
Just a few techniques for you to try.
I would love to hear any reactions or results that you have if you do try them. Please tell me your story and reach out to me and let me know how these techniques work for you!
Thanks, and you guys have a great day.