When you’re stuck inside your head, with that damning tape that keeps on going ’round and ’round, do something physical!
Most likely, you’re stuck for two reasons. First, because the pandemic has limited us physically. The brain, deprived of physical stimulation, goes back in on itself. Second, you may be one of those people who go inside your head whenever you get stressed, or things get tough.
If you do something physical, that involves a few of your five senses, it will immediately bring you back (or mostly back) to planet Earth, to the here and now. You’ll want to do something that’s not rote, like jogging. Rote, repetitive movements allow our minds to wander, while our bodies go on autopilot. So that’s a no-no.
Do something like cleaning the house, organizing your closet, cooking, planting, shooting hoops, tossing around a baseball. In all of these activities, we’re using our sense of sight, hearing, touch, and in some cases (cooking) smell and taste. Doing something physical brings us back to the present, and not thinking about the past or future.
How often have you heard that damning or self-critical tape in your head when you’re cooking your favorite meal, or tossing a ball? Do you think Tom Brady is letting his thoughts run amok when he’s throwing a pass? Or when someone is swimming? Or playing with their dog? They’re not. And most of these are solitary activities. Covid needn’t be a problem, here.
So make a list beforehand of activities that you keep in a handy place, that your can do when that stealth attack starts to take over. Take control, and come back to planet Earth!