Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
Yesterday, a woman stopped at my table at a craft fair, and noticing the list of topics I offer as a speaker, commented on food addiction. During our brief discussion, we each acknowledged the power of suggestion. You know, the “see food” diet.
You are in charge
Have you ever walked past your bed and thought, “I could use a nap”? It is possible you were not even tired before that thought occurred.
We do have control over what thoughts dominate our mind. Some of our thinking events are just habit, and like any habit, they can be exchanged for new ones.
Think of a thought habit you do not want. If you will take the time to complete this exercise, I believe you will be surprised at the positive outcome.
Make the exchange
1) What consistent triggering event do you experience? (Example: Your mood drops when you sit on the edge of the bed in the morning,)
(2) What is your brain suggesting to you during this triggering event? What are you thinking? (Example: “Now I have to go to work and face…” or “I don’t have anything to wear I’ll look good in.”)
(3)What is your thought habit? (Example: Associating this moment and seat with stress or negative self-talk.)
(4) What thought habit would you prefer? (Example: Associating this moment and seat with the power to make life better.)
(5) What decision do you want to make? (Example: “I want to feel better in the morning and will exchange this thought habit.”)
(6) How will you make your exchange? Be creative with your senses and apply what you know brightens your mood. Here are some ideas.
(a)Change the environment. (Redecorate the area; move the bed.)
(b)Change the context. (Make this the spot for foot rubs, saying prayers, reading, or calling friends.)
(c)Change the atmosphere. (Keep the room cheery by opening windows; invest in a coffee maker that starts before you do so you wake to the scent)
(d)Use grounding techniques that help keep your mind on the facts. (Place on the nightstand a list of accomplishments or positive affirmations from other people)
(7) Make a quality decision for when you will start. (Example: I will buy the coffee maker after work; I will write down the positives people say about me today.)
(8) What is the first action you will take next time this triggering event occurs? (Example: Read the list.)
If you take charge of your thought life, more happiness will greet you in the morning.
Comments are always welcome. NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
*picture from qualitystockphotos.com