More action, less thought!

17 Apr 2014

One morning recently, I awoke to a beautiful sunny day and was struck by a sudden sense of unease. It took me a while to identify it, and the unease persisted, and became uncomfortable; a coil of barbed wire in my soul, gradually shifting and starting to uncoil, prickling and scratching as it did so.

Negative thoughts and feelings of failure began to spiral, and with what I thought was admirable determination (!) I tackled them head on, trying to analyse and rationalise them. Predictably, I became more and more enmeshed in that coil of barbed wire until I found myself immobilised; trying to move in any direction hurt. I was stuck, staring aimlessly at my computer, idling from one website to another, and acutely aware of bored children, piles of washing and dogs that needed exercise!

Then I remembered 'acting opposite' - accepting how we feel, but doing the opposite action our emotions suggest. My negative thought patterns had led me in to lethargy, so I needed more action, and less thought. (A word of warning - acting opposite can be a good strategy for a number of emotions, as it can lift us out of unhelpful thought patterns. However, it's important to take notice of our instincts, if we feel unsafe, it may well be right to leave the situation.)

So more action, less thought! I turned up 'Wham' on the Ipod - forgive me, I'm a child of the 80's! - made a loaf of raisin bread and cleaned the bathroom. Small, achievable tasks that distracted my thinking. The thoughts were still there, if I poked and prodded they hurt, but focusing on the action lifted my spirits enough to be able to get on with my day. As a result, that coil of barbed wire has settled again, and I am peaceful once more.


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