Thoughts are either helpful or hurtful

I suspect I am not the only one who has a million and one thoughts running through their heads at the moment.  Some of them come and go....like, "I must remember to put the washing on" but others can be more stubborn and hang around and really start to niggle!  Can you relate to that?

I have been experiencing this a lot; finding myself dwelling on lots of thoughts around how Mum's illness might develop. "Will she still be alive at Christmas?" - that's a favourite one!  And "How will I cope when she gets really ill" pops up a lot.

And the mind loves questions and so when these thoughts pop up, I find myself working through all the possible answers.  "If she is alive at Christmas, should we go there, should I have her here...?" It's exhausting!  And the ridiculous thing is, I am tiring myself out at the time when she is actually still relatively well.  Doh!

And another really silly thing is, all of these answers to the thoughts are just possibilities - just opinions on what might happen and none of them are particularly helpful because I can't make that decision until it's reality.

So bottom line, I was exhausting myself thinking about things that may or may not happen and over which I can't do anything about anyway and was just tieing myself up in knots and hurting myself.  Can anyone find any sense in that at all?

I couldn't, so I decided to stop being a martyr to those thoughts - after all, they were my thoughts so mine to do what I want with!

So now when such a thought pops up the first response is, "Is this thought helpful or hurtful?".  So something like, "I need to put the washing on", is allowed to stay.  If its a hurtful thought - or one I cant do anything about - then time to take action.  And a lovely image came to me that really works (for me).  

If you picked up a hot pan that was burning you, you would just let it go right? So I now see the hurtful (non helpful) thoughts as that burning pan and just let them go - seems to be working!

What imagery would work for you?

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