Put Your Negative Thoughts in a Box
Think INSIDE the box
A strategy for overcoming negative thoughts and reducing insomnia due to a racing mind…
You may be a familiar with the term ‘thinking outside the box’ when referring to creating solutions or ideas that exceed typical thinking. You may have also heard real rebels say ‘what box’? Implying they are not boxed in by any limiting thoughts.
Today I am inviting you to think inside the box. That’s right. Today’s task is to put four small walls around what you are thinking. Not all of your thoughts, of course, only the less helpful ones or the ones that race around in your head before you go to bed.
I was introduced to this simple and very effective technique some years ago and use it as a faithful tool with pretty amazing results. The most important aspect of this exercise is based on our ability to use our imagination. Let’s face it, you’ve conjured up loads of the thoughts running around in your head, you certainly can conjure up an antidote. This simple exercise has worked wonders with clients plagued by never ending lists, worries and anxieties. The outcomes have been removal of distracting thoughts allowing for more focus or rest in some cases.
So, if you are master of your thoughts, don’t ever get into a negative headspace and you can sleep without any worry or anxiety, then read no more. However if you, on occasion, could use a strategy to get out of an unhelpful mindset and or thinking overload, then please test out this strategy.
How to think inside the box
What you need:
- A box that you can keep at your bedside, or somewhere easily accessible
- Some paper and a writing instrument of your choice
- Some negative thoughts, worry or anxieties that are bugging you
- A willingness to overcome the negative mindset… OR
- An online virtual box that you can access on demand, if you prefer to work with technology.
When you find your thoughts heading in a negative direction, write down the thought/worries/anxieties and put them into your box. Then close the box. Next time another unhelpful thought, worry or anxiety comes up, do the same-in fact, just keep filling the box with as many thoughts as you wish. It’s your box!
The caveat for success with this strategy is that you must make a commitment that once you add a thought into the box, you will leave that thought and all the associated thoughts, until a later date when you can review the importance of those them and decide if you wish to revisit them or not. It is often the case that my clients choose to leave the contents untouched. The thoughts/worries/anxieties will remain in this box, while you free up some energy to pursue activities that make you happy.
If you suffer insomnia, this strategy is a great too to ‘download’ all of your racing thoughts and clear your head ready for a good night’s sleep.
Remember, reading these strategies don’t equate to making changes, DOING them equates to making changes. If you want results you need to DO the activity.
You’re welcome. 🙂