Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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Are you Addicted to the Voice in Your Head?

 

I can’t believe he said that.

And then she did this…

I should have worn the white shirt…

Did I turn the stove off?

What will they think of me?

I wonder if…

What if???

Why is this happening to me?

My life sucks, my life is so hard, I can’t cope anymore, everything is going downhill, and then they did this….

On and on and on and on…. and on.

There is one addiction that is rampant.

One that rules all other addictions.

One that is silent, sneaky and can be extremely destructive.

The addiction to the voice in your head. Aka overthinking.

It might seem strange to see it this way as we are often told about the power of thoughts and positive thinking and using your thoughts to find peace and manifest success in your life. But there is another side of it that can be hard to spot.

The non-stop chatter that can also become like an addiction.

Can you stand back for a moment and notice what might be distracting you from a real issue, an emotion, a difficult conversation or a step you need to take? It could come in the form of self-doubt, blame, complaining, or criticism. It may have been such a part of your life it’s difficult to see. But like any addiction it serves a purpose It’s more about escape than simple pleasure for pleasure’s sake.

It might be netfix, blame, anger, avoidance, feeling bad, self-help, food, drugs… anything that you use to escape. Without judgement, can you be brutally honest with yourself about what you are using as an escape from fully, wholly, taking a step? Remember, a little escaping is not a bad thing. But a habit of escaping is.

Make a habit of creating enough quiet time in your day  to be able to stand back and observe what is happening in your mind. Where do you go to when stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? In the midst of busyness it is impossible to see this clearly.

This inner voice in our head is often about blaming or complaining,  either about others or yourself. Again, no judgement, just notice it.

When we can become aware, often this is enough.

The more important part of this is: Do you believe everything you hear? 

I cannot imagine what life would be like if I believed everything that went on between my ears. 

Our brains are geared always for survival. They are very limited in terms of the useful information they can produce because we are safe. 

So, our minds go in the eternal search for thoughts that will keep us safe from predators such as your inbox, your neighbours, the government, that coworker, that text. 

Therefore, in reality your life is far better than your mind is telling you. Unless you tell that to yourself!

Our nervous systems can’t tell the difference between a thought and reality, between imagination and now. 

So, next time you notice yourself tensing up, breathe deeply to trigger your friend the vagus nerve that triggers the relaxation response and allows you to step into a wider view. 

And ask yourself: What are my thoughts telling me now? Is it true?

Have a great week everyone!

Madeleine

PS.  I’ve created a special private Facebook group for high-achieving, highly sensitive women. Most of my clinical practice and group teaching has been to people with overly-sensitized nervous systems who are more prone to anxiety, chronic pain and depression. Mainly women, they are wise and full of life experience but suffer with physical and emotional pain. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience here that the world needs right now. The world needs us to wake up. Traditional methods of healing don’t work so well, so if this sounds like you, join us right here: 

http://bit.ly/2pNmSta

 

 

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