Monthly Archives: July 2014

Don’t believe everything you think

Have you ever been driving down the road and thought ‘what if I just turned the wheel and drove into oncoming traffic?’ or stood waiting for a train and thought ‘what if I just fell on the track as the train was coming?’ or been on a flight and thought ‘what if the plane crashes’ or something else just as bizarre…well if you have, you are not alone!

Most, if not all of us, have these random thoughts pop into our head.

Most of the time you will just dismiss them without even thinking about it – that’s good.

Sometimes we worry or obsess about them – that’s less good and is often where phobia’s and anxiety spring from.

Occasionally we may alter our behaviour because of them – that’s really not good, as this forms neurosis, O.C.D. and other mental health issues.

In Psychology these thoughts are often referred to as NATs or Negative Automatic Thoughts. There are many ways of dealing with these. The first is to recognise it for what it is, a random thought, not an absolute truth. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) teaches ways to spot these thoughts and challenge their validity e.g. how likely is it that the plane will crash, given that there are thousands of flights in the air at any given moment, yet we very rarely hear of a plane crash.

There are then various ways of dealing with it. You can dismiss it as unrealistic, you can ignore it, you can try and stop yourself thinking about it (often with the use of a rubber band you keep round your wrist and ‘ping’ each time you recognise a NAT) or you can accept it.

Personally one of my favourite ways to deal with these NATs is to make fun of them. You can’t stop them popping in your head from time to time, and trying to is just as likely to make you think of them more (try not to think about elephants for the next 5 seconds – you weren’t thinking of them before, but now you can’t stop). J K Rowling uses a similar method in Harry Potter with the Riddikulus spell – the kids think of the thing they are most scared of and then make it ridiculous by casting the spell e.g. a spider with roller-skates slipping and sliding all over the place. It’s difficult to be scared of something you’re laughing at.

So, next time one of these thoughts pops into your head, see it for what is – just a random thought – and laugh at what a bizarre, wonderful brain you have that will come up with such peculiar things and remember you can’t believe everything you think 🙂

If you need a little help dealing with your NATs, you should speak to a professional who can help. CBT, NLP and Hypnotherapy are great tools to help you.

Check out www.hypnotherapycoventry.org for more information

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Happy, Health, Peace, Psychology, Stress, Worrying

A life of contradictions

We like to put people in boxes – it helps us to feel that we have a handle on them – that we understand them. But in truth people are rarely that simple. Try describing yourself in 10 words..does that sum up the entirety of you? So why do you think you can do this to someone else?

In truth we are all a bundle of contradictions. It’s one of the ways a skilled mentalist or fake psychic can persuade you that they see the real you. In Tricks of the Mind, Derren Brown wrote a brilliant character analysis and gave it to a sample group, claiming he has ‘read’ this information from palm prints they sent to him. Almost all agreed it was spookily accurate, but in truth, they had all received the same thing. Does this mean that all these people were essentially the same? Well in some respects, yes, but I doubt any of them would have seen the others as their character twins.

He used truisms like ‘you are often prone to bouts of self examination’ and ‘you have given up on dreams too easily sometimes’ but he also used the contradictions we feel as thought they were some profound insight e.g. ‘You will often find yourself at a gathering and find yourself playing a part. While on one hand you find yourself being talkative and funny, you’ll also be detaching yourself to the point you feel utterly unable to engage’.

Derren often speaks out against fake psychics and explains their techniques. By listening to the explanations of how we can all be duped it offers us an insight into how we think. Despite our innate belief that we are in some way unique, and that no-one else can really understand us, it turns out we are mostly pretty similar in our peculiar set of contradictions.

So, next time you meet someone new and think you have them pegged ask yourself what contradictions lie behind the front you see?

If you want some help working on your own contradictions hypnosis can help. If you are in the Coventry area and would like to speak to someone about this check out http://www.talktherapies.co.uk for more info.

1 Comment

Filed under Development, Happy, Psychology

3 positive things

There is a bit of a trend on facebook at the moment – nominating people to publish 3 positive things each day for 5 days. On the whole I like it. It’s good to see people thinking about things in a positive way – it certainly beats them bemoaning their life and complaining about how hard they have it (which is frankly annoying when there are people struggling to find clean water or finding a way to survive in a war zone).

I do however have a slight issue with it – most of the posts are people talking about things that they have done, or got that day – I had a great day at the beach with the kids, my husband bought me flowers, I did yoga today, we got a new car….you get the drift. It’s too easy to be positive about good things and besides, it feels a bit too much like showing off.

So here’s my challenge to you.

Each time something annoys you or gets you down a bit, try and find at least one positive thing about it.

For example

Annoying – ‘that box set of books I bought carries on after the last in the set and I’m going to have to wait for the author to publish a new book before I find out what’s going to happen’

Positive-‘I get to read even more about those characters that I’ve come to like and I’ll be really excited and happy when I get my hands on the next instalment’

or

Annoying -‘it’s raining’

Positive -‘I won’t have to water the plants and the lawn will look better after a good soak’

or even

Upsetting – ‘I’m really upset we had that row’

Positive – ‘Now I know how they feel about that and I can do something about it’

They say every cloud has a silver lining, so be a silver hunter and prosper even on the cloudiest days 🙂

Don’t forget, if you need a hand reframing your thoughts you can always see a professional. NLP, CBT and Hypnotherapy are all useful tools to help you find the positives. All of this and more can be found at Talk Therapies http://www.talktherapies.co.uk and coming soon http://www.hypnotherapycoventry.org

1 Comment

Filed under Development, Happy, Health, Peace, Positivity, Stress, Worrying