How often do you think about your thoughts?
It probably isn’t something we think about very often, is it? If anything, we’re probably too busy trying to work out what someone else is thinking, rather than ourselves.
So, I have a really simple exercise for you this week.
Set yourself a timer for the same time every day this week, where you know you can take a few minutes out of your day to ask yourself this question. “What are you thinking?”
You don’t have to spend a long time on it, but just get a general feel of what takes up space in your head as you go about your day. If you can, write down a few notes or record a voice note for yourself.
The things that come up might feel surprising or informative. You might be particularly stressed about something you’re doing at that moment, or you could be pleased and excited, thinking about something good. You might be running over a list of things to do, or worrying about something. Your mind might be peace and at rest.
By keeping a daily track like this, it might give you some interesting insight into the things that go through your mind. And if there is a similar theme cropping up, that can be really helpful too.
We often have a narrative running through our heads, and this can often be negative. “Why did I do that?”. “I bet they think I’m useless”. “I always get things wrong”. Recognise any of these? We’ve all been guilty of this self criticism at times.
But when this narrative is playing on repeat, it can have a really harmful effect on how we feel and how we behave. We might stop putting ourselves forward for things, or we become more withdrawn, out of fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, for example.
The sooner we’re able to identify some of the more negative or unhelpful thought patterns, the easier it is to challenge and change them.