A useful technique

Regarding the mental worry and tendency to ruminate over problems that so many of us suffer from, I have a useful technique I'd like to share.

At times when this tendency is driving me mad, I write down all the different problems that are going through my mind, and give them a score as to how much they are worrying me. For example, it might look like this -

(1) Car may fail MOT, how will I afford to fix it 7

(2) Ex-boyfriend hassling me with unwanted texts yet again, wish he'd leave me alone 7

(3) Friend said something hurtful, wish I could just let it go instead of thinking on it 7

(4) Computer playing up, not another thing to sort out! 5

(5) Grandad's ill again. How will I cope if he dies? 8

Then I put the list away, and after one week, I go back and re-score the items. Amazingly, it's often the case that some scores have gone down, and some items can be crossed off the list altogether! You see, in the course of a week, what seemed like the end of the world seven days ago, may now seem like nothing. So, the friend who said something hurtful has since apologised, or maybe you've realised you misunderstood him/her, or the car DIDN'T fail it's MOT after all, so panic over. Or the computer got fixed by a techno-savvy friend who didn't charge you. What it illustrates to me time after time, is how when we are in the midst of multiple worries, they all seem so bad, so difficult to cope with, but then when they are gone, we may never think of them again.

Try it and see if it helps you.

4 Replies

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  • Mine would look more like a medical condition shopping list but I'm certainly up for giving this a try :)

    Thank you!

  • Makes sense and if it works for you that's brilliant. You are actually using a similar method to some professional therapists and research scientists. They use scoring systems (questionnaires) like the PHQ9 and GAD7 to get the patient to rate their moods and worries and then after treatment (talking therapy or other treatment) rate them again, and record the changes. By sharing the scores with the patient they can see any upwards, or downwards trend together and know when the patient has recovered, or to change the therapy type to continue the improvement.

    You can see the PHQ and GAD queastionnaires at phqscreeners.com if interested.

    Regards

    D.

  • That sounds like a good idea, I'll have to try it.

    Thank you :)

    Amber x

  • It's a great idea FunkyChicken and I'm really glad it works for you. But I wouldn't be able to wait a week for the results! When my head is bursting from rumination overload I need something to smack it down there and then, because I'm unable to focus on anything else.

    I have another technique you and others are sure to find useful. It is a Buddhist technique.

    Get comfy and relaxed and close your eyes and breathe easy. Imagine that all your unwanted thoughts are like puffy white clouds floating in a beautiful clear blue sky. Allow the thoughts/clouds to drift past your mind, into your vision and then out, and relax. There is no pressure. Do this for a few minutes and realise that the unwanted thoughts/clouds have no need to be in your mind. Then allow the clouds to float away, so you are gazing at the beautiful clear blue sky in your mind. Keep like this, relaxed and breathing easy for at least a few minutes. When you come back to normality you will find your mind is far more calm and relaxed.

    I hope this helps :)

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