How do you redirect unhelpful thoughts?
This week I finally had to admit defeat and start looking for a new phone, mine’s been temperamental for a while, but it finally gave up. While I love a new gadget, I can find the volume of choice overwhelming, which is why I have been putting it off. So I took the plunge and started reading reviews (which meant learning a whole new language) and trying to figure what I needed, what I wanted and what was just me being caught up in other peoples opinions. It was very easy to be caught up in the reviews which told me about all these wonderful features and things the phone would let me do and briefly my ‘I want’ list got considerably bigger. I had to stop reading and check back in with myself about what I would realistically use and what was important to me, a pattern that continued as time wore on.
This process of noticing my thoughts going in a direction that is unhelpful and then pausing to check in with myself and redirect those thoughts is one I’ve been practicing for a long time. When I was looking at phones, it felt fairly straightforward to do this, but sometimes when I’m going back to old, unhelpful, ways of thinking it can be harder to spot and take more energy to change. I know that if I’m ill, tired, hungry, cold getting the wrong sensory input then my ability to notice and redirect will be impacted. It’s why I like to talk about it as a practice, it is something I can keep working on, and this mindset allows me to be gentle with when I notice the unhelpful thoughts coming back in.
What helps you to check in with yourself and redirect your thoughts when you need to?