Of all the psychological pain points people approach me with, monkey mind – or mind chatter is number one in the frequency tables. With my strategy for busy minded people, these cognitions and subsequent behaviours can settle down to the previously held balance and harmony.
Oh no – not again!
How often are you finding yourself awake at ‘stupid o’clock’ – and your mind is racing? What does that then feel like in that moment?
The thoughts arrive, unannounced. These thoughts can be so sudden and intrusive, it feels like a physical intruder has just burst into the bedroom! Less than pleasant!.
Shake, rattle ‘n roll!
Emotionally, we feel and exhibit the signs of stress responses – becoming anxious as we do. Our senses are heightened with immediacy of the moment, an unseen threat to our well-being lurking behind our eyes. A hot flush, or cold sweat leaves us feeling sick in the pit of our stomach as the adrenaline and other fight-flight hormones and chemicals flood into our bloodstream – causing our heart to race. Then, having been startled into consciousness, we settle the attention on just what has joined you in the bed and your place of sleep and supposed relaxation.
Money… job… health… relationship… past. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the intrusive thoughts will have an element of one, or more, of these:
- Money – in debt or threat of overwhelming debt.
- Job – stress and pressure of work, threat of job loss, workplace bullying and/or getting that next job!
- Health – acute of chronic pain, fear around loss of health (yours or another) or diet and weight.
- Relationships – domestic or professional (family or work).
- Past – When trauma re-plays.
And all of the above will have one of more points of reference to the past, current or future imaginations and ruminations.
Day or Night
To reduce the impact, and duration, of these intrusive and unwelcome visits, whether in the day or night, requires they are provided some alternative attention.
What’s to do?
When we practise recognising we have these thoughts at the time they begin, we can make conscious decisions around whether to let them run amok… reviewing the thoughts, acknowledging them – then, if possible, accepting the thoughts as something for which if there are no actions to be taken at that time – they can be let go of until such time an action is required. Day or night, socially, professionally – or in private – anxieties left unmanaged ‘learn’ to grow in your everyday thinking.
The good news is these thought patterns can be undone with guidance, allowing for higher quality sleep and relaxation, improved relationships, health and performance. Explore your way to peace of mind with a counsellor – and send those monkeys packing! Call or write to me or your local counsellor today!
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).