Thursday 19 March 2015

It's Not Unthinkable!

You know that feeling when you can't stop thinking about something? We've all felt it at some point or another. You're just going about your daily business and BAM! this thing that has been bugging you for a while comes out and just sits in your brain and thought process like a loyal and obedient dog waiting for the next instruction.

It could something so simple, something that someone said, did, you said, did, you saw, the list goes on. The point is there's nothing that you can do about it. You can't unsee, unsay or undo what's been done and you can't compartmentalize it in some section of your brain because it just seems to keep popping out and driving you insane.

How do you move forward from it? You can't just block it out because that hasn't worked. You sorta suspect why you might be thinking about it but can't be completely sure that that doesn't help either!

I remember one of my counselor's told me that there was scientific term for it, the name escapes me now though, but she told me that if someone tells you not to think about a specific thing, that's all you'll be able to think about. It's apparently just how the brain works.

The best solution I've been able to come up with so far is to distract myself from whatever it is that's not unthinkable for me and hopefully, or eventually, that will stop the thought train on the road to nowhere.


The first time I started having obsessive un-unthinkable thoughts was back in high school when I had too much to cope with and they themselves were a distraction and a much appreciated one at that.

Then the thoughts turned to a particular person and again it was a distraction from other much more unpleasant things that I didn't want to think about or deal with, so thinking about the person and their significance to me definitely help...until that all fell apart and I had to deal with stuff. Dealing with stuff you've spent so long avoiding dealing with is not fun, not at all!

I got to the point where I wanted to ask other people what they thought about, in order to not think about the things I was thinking out. That seemed like an incredibly strange and personal question to ask someone, regardless of how close I was to them.

The best thing I found that really did help was to find something else to focus on. At the time when it all started I threw myself into organising school events. Someone had to do it and I want to occupy my mind with something more productive. It worked in my favour too.

Now I'm finding the technique is still quite helpful. My brain goes on overdrive and I feel my head start to spin because I don't think anyone has created an off switch for the brain. Even in sleep it's still working hard.

The alternative is to meditate. Focus on one thing for a set amount of time, block everything else out and just focus on that thing and breathing. Usually it's done by focusing on your breath which helps. Since my brain works constantly in overdrive, focusing on just one thing is nearly impossible when I have so many thing at any given time happening in a fairly small space.

Of course different things work for different people. You can only really do what works best for you to stop thinking un-unthinkable things.

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