Haud yer wheesht….. or… could you quieten it down please…stop talking! Shut up…. Enough!!
We can all be troubled by a host of negative, critical thoughts and feelings. Some of these are the core symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. This noisy internal rant that can sometimes consume us, can determine the sort of day, week or life we have.
There is a correlation between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
Thoughts and feelings are automatic and, when they are negative and self-critical, are frankly annoying and unwanted. Eckhart Tolle, the author of ‘The Power of Now’, affirms that excessive over thinking can in fact be the source of a powerful addiction (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTFDfR47dl4), so much so, that it preoccupies our everyday life and limits our ability to function.
Any one of these three dynamics can directly affect the other. For example, depression is often accompanied with excessive feelings of sadness, disappointment and self-doubt which results in our thoughts telling us we are hopeless. Apathy can quickly take over and the resulting behaviour is we refuse to get out of bed. This is just one example of a vicious circle of debilitating experiences we can go through.
Many of us don’t realise how closely linked these three interconnected processes are and that there is only one that we have direct control over and the other two we cannot control directly but, can change. Thoughts and feelings are automatic and just seem to come at us from nowhere from within. Consequently, the resulting behaviours as outlined above can be equally negative and incapacitating. However, we can control our behaviours directly e.g., we can stand up, switch music on and dance. This change in our behaviour can change our mood and thoughts…. if we allow it to!
For some of us, it is not that easy. There are a range of techniques and approaches that can help us overcome this unwelcome chatter in our head. Three of the most common approaches are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT),
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT),
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
There is a degree of overlap among these approaches and therapists may employ a combination of these depending on the client’s particular circumstances, their aims, personal history and what is happening in the moment of consultation. All approaches for example, bring a degree of mindfulness or focused attention. CBT is aimed at identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours so, we must focus on what these are. DBT requires focused regulation of our emotions and reducing impulsive behaviours, again requiring a focus on what these are, while ACT focuses on developing an acceptance of our destructive thoughts and emotions through a healthy level of curiosity… again, by allowing ourselves to focus on what these are.
Sometimes, we can simply ask the unwanted feelings and thoughts, what is its positive intention? You may be surprised but, we may get a response that relates to some unresolved trauma or childhood experience. Alternatively, we can treat thoughts for what they are, i.e., ‘just a thought’ and not give them the energy to translate into a negative or destructive behaviours that we subsequently come to regret afterwards.
If you find you are hindered by self-sabotaging destructive thoughts, emotions or patterns of behaviours and want to put an end to it, please get in touch. We can help.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones and can use an approach that works for some: simply tell these captious rants to; Haud yer wheesht…. that may be enough.