We often get stuck in cyclical thoughts and feelings, which take us away from living our lives.
This is a simple exercise to help manage cyclical thoughts and/or feelings
1) Consciously become aware of a cyclical thought/feeling you are having or have been having recently.
2) Name it. Get a good sense of the puzzle you are trying to solve in your head and how it makes you feel overall.
3) When you notice that you are about to loop again through the same thought process, shift your attention to the soles of your feet.
4) Get a sense of the shape and temperature of your feet. Notice how the skin wraps around your feet – the top, the bottom, and even in between your toes. Notices the difference in sensation between the top and the bottom of your feet. Become consciously aware of what the skin covering your feet is in contact with: socks, shoes, the floor, the earth, etc.
5) Sit with the sensations coming from your feet for a moment, really allowing yourself to feel your feet.
6) Return to your daily activities, placing your thoughts on the activity at hand. If the thought/feeling shows up again, shift your attention again to your feet. Repeat the process of feeling the shape and temperature of your feet as well as sensing how the skin stretches over the top and bottom of your feet and in between your toes.
7) You can repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as needed in order to settle your mind.
8) Once the thought/feeling stops repeating, mentally register that it has stopped. The acknowledgement that the pattern has changed is important, as it affirms that things are different.
(NOTE: Want to take control of your health? See Samantha Lotti’s Body Compassing: Meditation-for-Healing Course by clicking here.)
Why this exercise helps manage cyclical thoughts and/or feelings
This exercise does two things
1) It interrupts the neurology of repetition around a mental pattern you have. All neurological patterns are strengthened through repetition.
(RELATED: The Brain and the “I”)
If you engage with stressful and oppressive thoughts in a loop, the thoughts will become ever more imprinted in your neurology. If you actively decide to disengage from those patterns, you break the circuit in the neurology and make your brain develop a new neurological pattern.
2) By repeatedly redirecting your attention to your body you slowly diminish the mental intensity of what you’re thinking about and return yourself to what’s happening in the present moment.
Placing your attention on your body helps you build embodiment skills that support your overall health, and returning your attention repetitively to the present moment allows you to engage with life more fully.
You can find this and many other embodiment meditations-for-healing in Body Compassing.
Image credit: https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/3139/break-cycle-repetitive-thoughts-rebooting-mind-like/
Author: Samantha Lotti
Samantha Lotti is the founder of Biodynamic Health and creator of Body Compassing. She is a certified and registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST, RCST®), licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and board certified herbalist in Oak Park, Illinois. A personal back injury brought Samantha to biodynamic craniosacral therapy and ignited her interest in a variety of healing modalities.