A loop of anxious and depressing thoughts
Sometimes I am caught in a loop of what-ifs and whys. A cocktail of worries, doubts, and fear that seem to overwhelm me. And the intensity of these feelings is uncomfortable, to say the least. And I just want to escape into my corner and numb myself to the world around me.
These are bad days.
And then I pick myself up, do something I like – take a walk, clean my home, brew a cup of tea, or doodle something – and slowly the cloud of thoughts lifts.
Over time, I’ve learned to stop beating myself up for going through these bouts.
Five Ways to Overcome Anxious and Depressive Thoughts
Take a few deep and slow breaths. You can breathe through anything. And, then try Debbie Hampton’s grounding technique which is very much rooted in Buddhist meditation techniques.
Acknowledge five things you see around you in your immediate surroundings. Maybe it’s a book, a pen, or a spot on the wall.
Acknowledge four things you can feel. This could be your bottom sitting on the chair, your feet resting on the floor, or glasses sitting on your nose.
Acknowledge three things you hear. Remember, you want to turn your focus away from your thoughts. So, the sounds need to be external. For example, maybe you hear traffic in the background or the hum of the heat or air blowing or a bird chirping.
Acknowledge two things you can smell. Does the air have a particular scent? Can you smell your shampoo or deodorant? If you can’t pick out a smell, you may want to go find one, like some scented soap or a piece of fruit.
Acknowledge one thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like? It might be coffee, lunch, or even the taste of your saliva.