It says 5:09 on my clock. I was going to go to the gym for a little LiveFit Day 31 legs action, but I’ve decided that today will be my rest/play drums/catch-up on schoolwork day. Also, I’m sore. The thought of doing any motions which engage my shoulders is stressful. Just pecking at these keys is an effort. I have two pillows under my armpits for support. These workouts are NO JOKE. Monday and Tuesday annihilated me (in a good way)!
So, first things first. Something very exciting happened for me professionally this week.
I was published in the American Counseling Association’s blog! I’ll be blogging about my internship experience working in a men’s residential drug treatment center. I’m loving it so far. I might talk about it on the blog, but if you want to read about my experiences more in-depth, please read my adventures over there! I’ll be publishing one post a week. I’m super excited because it combines my two favorite things: writing + counseling.
You can read my first post here.
Speaking of my internship, today we talked about thought stopping. What is thought stopping, you ask?
It’s kind of what it sounds like, except not quite. Simply because I don’t know what success you’ve ever had just stopping a thought, but I am not a Jedi. Thoughts can be quite intrusive. They’re like that friend you had in college that showed up at group hangouts where no one invited them. You don’t know how to tell them to leave without making everything worse.
I sort of talked about thought stopping when I wrote about self-compassion and not judging thoughts. One method of thought stopping is to replace a crappy thought with a good thought.
Sometimes it’s not that easy. You ruminate and obsess over a thought. It gets all up in your biz-nass and just ruins your whole freaking day.
This is when we employ our go-to move. I used this for a while and I found it was really effective.
My counselor instructed me to think of a small move I could do easily that would not be obvious to others. I chose tapping my middle finger with my thumb, like I was going to crack my knuckle.
She instructed me to do this motion every time I felt a certain haggling thought hanging out in my brain. Whenever I had this unwanted thought, I would tap my knuckle. I would keep doing it until my thought was no longer a concern.
At first, I was like, “Ummm, this is weird?” but I consider myself a relatively open-minded individual, so I rolled with it.
I did it for one week before I processed it with my counselor. I won’t say that everything was kittens and pudding after a week, but I did notice a difference. I had two things happen:
1. When I consumed myself with my knuckle-tap (as I affectionately call it), I left little room for the yucky thought. The more I tapped, the further away it became until I found something else to mentally occupy myself with.
2. Each time I knuckle tapped, I sent the message to myself that this thought was both unwanted and false. I subliminally programmed myself to acknowledge this thought as unwelcome. With that acknowledgement came the awareness that I could choose how I wanted to think about this thing. I had a choice.
Kinda cool, huh?
Well, I think it is. I employed it for a while until I felt the thoughts had exited my brain for good. If you’re having some nasty thought you want to challenge, try a knuckle tap, a knee slap, a fist pump, or an ear tug. Whatever works for you. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. It’s something worth trying and likely, no one will ever know a thing. Although, I think I’ll never be able to crack my middle knuckle in public again. Le sigh.
Ever try thought stopping? What do you think about this method?
Anyone else taking a rest day? Lie to me so I don’t feel lazy.