I know I don’t only speak for myself when I say my brain can be a messy place. At times it feels like my thoughts are all over the place. I can go from feeling like everything is order to feeling as though my thoughts are spiralling out of control very quickly. There is no clear message they are trying to tell me, but everything they do say is destructive and negative. The longer I ignore it for, the more the negative thoughts build up.
When this happens, it is easy to point the finger and say there is something wrong with my mind and way of thinking, but is there really? When I think about it slightly more deeply, I see it differently. My brain is actually trying to tell me something, and it’s saying it loud and clear.
When my brain feels messy and my thoughts become increasingly negative, it is not it attacking me, it is instead my brain trying to tell me to look at what is going on in my life and make some changes. Slowly, overtime, through speaking to my wellbeing and performance coach (the wonderful Wendy) and unpacking my thoughts, I have come to recognise this. It never gets easier, but I have become more in tune to the warning signs. These red flags manifest in a very chaotic mind.
Trace the thoughts.
When my brain starts to feel chaotic, I find it helpful to trace the thoughts and slowly peel them back to their source. The best way to do this is through talking. Speaking about whatever is going on in my mind helps me take each thought back to its origin. More often than not, they all have the same origin. As soon as I get them out, in whatever order they come, however disjointed it may seem, they all start to make sense. Gradually the pieces of the jigsaw come together and this allows me to recognise what really is going on. It may not seem logical initially, but by getting every worry, stress, negative thought or destructive idea in your mind, out into the open, the real cause will become clear. These don't have to be said in any order. Whatever order they come to the fore in, say them. It might not seem like the right order initially, and it may seem very random, but it won't by the end.
If you do not feel able to talk to someone about your thoughts, or you don't have someone you can throw heavy thoughts at, write them down. Get your messy brain onto paper.
Recently I felt this overwhelming mess in my brain. I had so many worries and destructive thoughts going on and I just didn’t know where they were coming from. I found it a lot to handle. However, as soon as I was able to open up about all of them, and get them into the open, I realised that the problem actually lay elsewhere, and the superficial worries in my mind weren’t actually worries at all. They were just a front for the real problem. This is why it does not matter which order the thoughts come out, because they will all lead somewhere important.
Once I can recognise that my mind is actually shouting at me to trace these thoughts back to their origin, I am able to address the true problem, and start on the path towards feeling more stable.
Our brains are incredibly clever things. They do not think destructively for no reason. For some of us, myself included, this is simply the brain raising the alarm, telling us that we need to address the real problem before things spiral out of control. Try not to ignore the warning signs, because otherwise it will explode at some point, in some way.
Next time you find ourself getting frustrated at the way your brain can be messy and chaotic, listen to it. It is only trying to help you, not push you down.
Be kind to yourself, listen to the signs, and trace them to their source.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!