Invisible Injuries- Mental health ambassadors

S03 - Dealing with unwelcome thoughts 12

October 22, 2021

a photo of soldiers in khaki camo overloking boat with message in text

"Change your attitude to
unwelcome thoughts"

  • It's the way we respond to unwanted thoughts that causes us distress.
  • It's our reaction that enables these thoughts to have power and influence over us.
  • The more we try and push unwanted thoughts away, the more they'll struggle to get back into our conscious mind.
  • To hang around, thoughts need to be fed by attention, but what they love really is a good strong emotional reaction to make them stick.

A 4 step approach toward changing your mental attitude.

1. Welcome the unwanted thought (or fear)
2. Imagine a carton character *
3. Give it a squeaky voice
4. Have the cartoon character speak out the thought (e.g. "do you remember when....") * the result of cartoon imagery is to reprogram the initial fearful emotional reaction - and take out the power it has over the person.

The less fear of the thought..the less likely it's to occur during the day. The emotional reaction's been neutralised.

For best results –“horses for courses” applies. Some might find one tool or technique helpful, others will experiment with another that proves helpful. All are available to try and it’s often about finding “what works” for you. 

🖨 reprinted with permission @johnhendenauthor
@wiley-publishing @beatingcombatstress