Yesterday, I talked about Obsessive thoughts and you took inventory of what you are battling as obsessive thoughts. This is my strategy to work on these obsessive thoughts.
-- Be in the present
-- Do something
-- Let go
This is obviously a very simple strategy and there are thoughts that cannot be dealt with that simply. Please see your therapist for those kinds of thoughts.
I am going to use the list we used yesterday to show you how to put my strategy in action!
Thought # 1: We can't afford anything
The first thing I would say to this statement is that it is already unrealistic by having the word "anything" in it. Absolutes are an easy way to drive yourself insane. In this case, let's say that the person who is dealing with this thought is in a bad predicament financially in reality. She does not make enough money to meet all of her needs and often times has to pay bills late or even go without simple necessities. That is certainly something that would cause distress. The first thing to do is to be in the present. This means looking at the current financial situation and finding out what the top priorities are to take care of. Let's say that she has no toilet paper in her bathroom, owes her car insurance in two days which is $95, has only $100 to get her through to pay day which is a week away and is not sure what to do. Because she can't afford both her car insurance and toilet paper, she is overwhelmed with the obsessive thought of not being able to afford anything. The next step is DO SOMETHING The rational thing here is to realize that toilet paper is not an option, she needs to get to target stat! The next step is to call the car insurance and let them know that in just 7 days you will get paid and would be able to make the payment on that day. Usually companies will negotiate with you. Sometimes, making a small payment is enough to allow you some wait time. She could pay $20 on her insurance and get toilet paper and make it. The next step is to LET GO. This would look like her taking the steps to take care of her needs/obligations while also realizing how truly lucky she is as she has a job, a home, and her basic needs are met for today. This will help her realize just how silly it is to ruminate on this thought.
Tomorrow, we will conquer the next thought of "I am going to mess up my children"