Visual Exercises For Letting Go Of Thoughts
Letting go of negative thoughts can be very hard at times. Sometimes it helps to just visualize your thoughts leaving your mind in different ways rather than sitting there and dwelling on them. Overthinking will just make things worse in the end.
Here are a few visualization exercises to try to help let go of your negative thoughts (from the book 30 Minute Therapy for Anxiety):
Leaves On A Stream: Imagine each thought as an autumn leaf detaching from a tree and falling into a swiftly moving stream. As the leaf hits the water, it’s caught in a current and is swept rapidly downstream, around a bend, and out of sight. Each new thought, as it shows up in your mind, is visualized as a newly fallen leaf, swept downstream and out of sight.
Billboards: Imagine yourself driving down a long stretch of highway, with occasional billboards showing up on either side of the road. You can visualize each thought as a message on one of the billboards. Notice it briefly, then notice your car sweeping past. As your thought goes out of sight, the next new thought is assigned to another billboard and is briefly noted until your car roars by it.
Balloons: Imagine a clown holding the strings to a dozen or so red balloon. As each new thought arrives, let a balloon detach from the group and watch it float up into the sky and out of sight. If the image moves too slowly and it takes too long for the balloons to drift out of sight, imagine a stiff wind blowing the balloons away.
Computer Pop-ups: Imagine each thought as computer pop-up advertisement on reminder on your computer screen. Briefly, note the thought then let it disappear until the next pop-up shows up on the screen.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.