Displacing unwanted thoughts.

At times, I’m sure you’ll have been in the situation of trying to get to sleep whilst being troubled by a pesky thought that won’t go away.

For me, it often happens if I wake up partway through the night and fail to fall back to sleep immediately.

If I’m not careful, there it is. That pesky thought, which all too often is one that goes round and round in my head, generally pretty annoyingly.

Not always, but sometimes, I can send a worry like this packing, by forcing myself to think about something totally different.

It can take a substantial amount of effort to do so, but it can work.

Usually I have to add as much detail to my other thinking as I can – creating pictures and even sounds in my mind.

Of course the same thing can be true during the day, too.

There’s a lot to be said for taking notice of the things around you.

Being aware of your surroundings, savouring sights, and reflecting on what you see can make a great contribution to your general wellbeing.

It can also help prevent that nasty old rumination thing where you think too hard about life’s less-pleasing aspects.

(Most lives have them.)

So keep your eyes about you today.

Take notice – really take notice – of what you see.

There’s a lot to be said for it.

7 thoughts on “Displacing unwanted thoughts.

  1. One of the problems with unwanted thoughts is that the reason they keep returning is that they’re often charged with emotion.

    Trying to distract yourself or push these thoughts away often doesn’t work – they just keep coming back because you need to deal with the underlying emotion.

    A more effective approach may be to explore the emotion through meditation…

  2. I put on my favourite delaxing Music on very low so I have to concentrate on it. I can’t concentrate on it and mull around pesky thoughts. Two sides of the brain?? I set a timer for an hour….all on the iphone. It works well with me. Worth a try. Good luck 💋

  3. A common problem for millions of people in our helter skelter world. I use the mindfulness technique and concentrate on my breathing or try a body scan. Works well pretty much every time and I drift off again into the dreamworld!

  4. I held the door open yesterday for a man whilst my 7 year old daughter and I went into the post office, he didn’t say ‘thanks’ and it really annoyed me, so in the queue I said to my daughter ‘always make sure you says thanks when someone holds the door for you’, my daughter: “I always do daddy’, I know sweet-heart, that’s because you have manners. I really hope the guy heard me, but I’m still ruminating about it now!!! How can I let this go? Is it best to feel sorry for that ignorant person?

    1. Oh, that must have been infuriating. It would have got to me, too. It was probably particularly impactful because you were aware of the effect it may have had on your daughter. You want to model good behavior to her, but then this thoughtless man gets in the way of that.

      We don’t know if he was perhaps having a bad day, and this style of rudeness therefore wasn’t his usual thing. Sadly, though, there are people who, for one reason or another, just don’t get the importance of politeness. It’s one of the glues that sticks society together.

      Rather than ruminating, Karl, perhaps there’s a way for you and your daughter to simply be grateful that – thank goodness – you did the right thing?

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