In Part One the Stuck in Thought Mind Map covered repetitive thoughts, whether new or old and how to shine a light on your thoughts to question and change your thinking.
You can only change your thinking if you are aware that you are thinking; if you are conscious of your thoughts and able to recognise that they are not all true. You can choose what you think – you are not a victim to your thoughts any more than your body walks about without you directing it.
Directing your body is second nature – and listening to your thoughts can also become natural to you.
Indications that you are (or might be) stuck in thought include constant repetitive thinking, often of the past or how you view yourself be it as a whole or at any given moment in time. Having preconceived ideas and judgments indicates heavy identification with your thinking.
Day to day living shows signs of being stuck in thought such as forgetting where you parked your car. Perhaps overfilling a cup or missing vital elements of a conversation or your surroundings. Rushing your food and the resultant indigestion may indicate your thoughts are elsewhere or at the very least that you are not relaxing into the present moment.
Locked into resistance, denial, negativity or constant attack and defend mode points towards being stuck in thought. Repetitive thinking, rerunning old thought patterns and stories show more stuckness. Driving on autopilot (dangerous!) and not recalling part of the journey shows thoughts have taken you away from the moment. Many accidents happen in the split second of lost awareness.
The key is attention. Noticing your thoughts, whether instantly (preferable!) or afterwards (better than not at all!) It doesn’t make you infallible or turn you into a superhero 🙂 Instead of punishing yourself over a negative thought, praise yourself for noticing – it is your chance to do something about it.
The something is questioning your thoughts and if necessary changing them.
As you go about your day, look out for other moments where you are lost in thought rather than being aware of your thinking. The awareness improves the more you do it.
I hope Part One and Part Two of Stuck in Thought and the accompanying mind maps help you to recognise that you do not have to be the victim of your thinking.
Please feel free to share your comments and experiences below.