We often suffer more in our imaginations than we do in real life.
I recently heard this quote, I truthfully can't remember where, and it has really stuck with me over the last several weeks. I've used it in probably every session I've had since I've heard it; it's had a great impact on my own life outside of counseling.
Having a mental health condition like Anxiety encourages my mind to live in the future and the past - traveling back and forth as a way of high jacking my thought patterns and in turn my mood. We often suffer more in our imaginations - anxiety creates these scenarios that are just so far outside of reality; they're narrow sighted and warped. Anxiety thrives on words like never and always it's always going to be this way, It will never be that way. It cooks up these story lines that, logically I can create solutions to...pretty quickly and easily.
The skill of Wise Mind teaches us that we sometimes get dis-regulated, off balance, and fall into thinking more emotionally. This clouds our ability to be rational and logical. It allows for our imaginations to run free creating all kinds of worse case scenario's. It pulls us into not being able to set things go, and release the things we cannot control or change.
In my own personal practice of this skill, I've created a little game - when I catch myself on these kind of dis-regulated trains of thought, I think to myself OK Elizabeth, back in the real world what's really happening? Typically makes me smile and get's me back on track.
Food for thought for the week - What running story-lines do you have in your mind that anxiety, or depression or the like have created and influenced?