We all know what it’s like when thoughts get stuck in our head. Us humans have the tendency to worry about the future, ruminate on the past and think we have the capacity to know what other people are thinking about us.
It’s not our fault! It‘s part of our evolutionary history. When we were living in caves we needed to try and have as much certainity as possible to protect ourselves from any potential threats, to help us have the best opportunity to catch food and to enable us suss out who would make a suitable companion…
The problem is the world we live in now is far beyond the wildest imaginings of our cave dwelling ancestors but our brain is, essentially, still living in the past and it can all too often assess parts of our own modern world as a potential life or death situation (a meeting with the boss, checking the bank balance, a full inbox, crowds etc…). This sense of threat can really impact on our thinking.
It‘s true, we all have weird and wonderful thoughts; it’s part of being human. But… when we take our thoughts seriously, without questioning them and attach meaning to them them it can become problematic.
Take this thought for example, “Those people laughed as I walked past, they must think I look weird (MIND READING). People are always so mean to me (MEANING), I feel like crap, I’m going to avoid going out when it’s busy.” You can see how thinking like this reguarly could lead to isolation, mistrust and low mood.
A first step in beginning to challenge your negative thoughts is to begin externalising them by givng them a name and putting them in a category.
This fantastic resource from getselfhelp.com explains common unhelpful thinking styles. We all have the capacity to fall into these thinking patterns, what can become distressing is when we believe t
If you relate to getting unhelpful thoughts stuck in your head it might useful to talk to a therapist about how to address this process.
Contact me to find out more information about how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you.