You’re in a relationship and things are going sour. You are doing well at your job but feel like you need a change. You don’t know why after all this time you can’t get over him. You wonder if there is something wrong with you—why is it so hard to let down my walls?
Is this, or something very similar, the dialogue constantly running through your mind? Perhaps lately you’ve been thinking about how badly you “need” a counselor, or how much you think it would help to talk through these thoughts with a therapist. The only problem is you’re broke. Or you simply can’t afford to spend money on counseling. We get it. We’ve been there countless times too.
When you are comfortable financially to see a counselor, definitely do so—truly everyone should! However, for the time being, there are many other ways you can get to the bottom of what’s going on in your mind. Remember that even though seeing a therapist would benefit you, no one is able to tell you what you should do with your life. You have to do that work yourself. Basically, there is no secret shortcut. So if you’re ready to put in some work and start decluttering your mind to live your best life, try these tactics!
Dedicate 10 minutes of every day to journaling. When you sit down to write, don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. Just start with a thought and let your words flow. It is great to do this exercise first thing in the morning so that you can clear your mind for the day ahead. You will not believe how much you discover about yourself when journaling. When you simply overthink all day in your mind, you turn over the same thoughts again and again. When you journal, the truth will come out and you will unleash a thought or truth you didn’t realize until you began journaling every day—trust us on this one! Give it a try yourself and see what you may be hiding within.
Even just 5 minutes a day will do the trick. Our thoughts are always running around in our minds so quickly that we never give our brains a rest. In order to meditate for maximum results, every time you think of a thought, simply return back to your breath. You can repeat a mantra or affirmation to keep the brain focused, or you can simply say in your mind “inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.” You can also count in your mind, and when you lose focus, start back at “one.” With meditation, you may not immediately discover something, but you will notice yourself reacting to things much more slowly and in more control. You will have more awareness of what is actually going on and how you actually feel as opposed to filtering everything through a heightened emotion or false belief.
Chat With A Friend
This is therapy at it’s finest. Find a friend that you feel no shame with—you can tell her everything, and she won’t judge, and she definitely won’t share your secrets. Have her listen to you externally process everything in your mind and on your heart and see what she has to say about it all. Friends have a way of speaking the ultimate truths into our lives. And don’t forget to do the same with her! Also, wine helps.
Check out these other ways to change the way you think.
Kate Wilke is a 200-RYT yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She teaches and works with clients in Nashville, TN. She believes in self-care in the form of colorful, healthy cooking, daily walks with her dog, and a glass of red wine. Follow her on Instagram — @meditatekate