by Linda Meredith
What is Stinking Thinking?!
Have you ever changed a baby's nappy? You know the ones you can smell before you even open it up? The smell, the stink, literally pervades all of your senses and you feel like you have to wear a mask just to change the nasty nappy!
Sometimes our thoughts can be stinky too! How do we know when our thoughts are stinky, especially when we're in recovery for Complex Ptsd? Think back to the latest thoughts you've had around a friend you know and love. When that friend didn't get back to you straight away were you at peace or were your thoughts being driven by all types of imaginary ideas?
Did you catch yourself thinking "they're okay, and if they're not they'll let me know" OR did you begin thinking "what have I done?" "how have I upset them?" then add onto these starter thoughts every imaginable scenario you can, that didn't happen, and you've captured you're stinking thinking.
What does Stinking Thinking do?
Stinking thinking is like adding toxins into our internal system. Whilst initially the thoughts have zero weight, eventually, the repetition begins to drag us down and take our focus of what we are wanting to achieve today. Caught up in a seemingly never ending loop of stinking thinking, we pretend we know the outcome without discussing anything with anyone. We make decisions "oh, that's it, I'm never speaking to them again" OR "I did nothing wrong, what's their problem?" OR better yet, without any discussion, we determine that the individual concerned hates us, we've done nothing wrong, and we just need to move right along.
Stinking thinking is toxic to our body's, to our minds and to our hearts. Instead, we need to turn the Stinking Thinking around. Reframe our thoughts to include that we don't know what we don't know. Communication is a must, so have the conversations with friends to check in with them. True friends won't mind you admitting you've had some Stinking Thinking and you want to overcome it!
After all, we don't want to be dumping toxic waste into our neurology and biology, and there's no use having arguments in our mind that we win if we don't know all the facts. Sometimes we need to be kinder to ourselves first, build an awareness around feeling love in our hearts and trusting that the outcome is out of our control, and doing the one next thing in front of me.
How to Overcome Stinking Thinking
Step 1: Recognise when you're feeling out of sorts about someone in your life or your community.
Step 2: Listen to your thoughts and self talk? Identify it your self talk is centred around you and how you feel, and trying to work things out with only half the equation present i.e. have you spoken to the other person or are you chasing thoughts around your mind that are escalating in how intensive they feel.
Step 3: Tell yourself to stop. Stop the thoughts. Change your thoughts by changing whatever you're doing. Do a different action, a different exercise or activity.
Step 4: Remind yourself to open your heart and that you're safe not to know all the answers right now.
Step 5: Journal or reach out to someone to talk things through. Don't do this alone.
Remember, it's a process to change the Stinking Thinking. It won't happen overnight, but consistency and commitment to the process will see change happening quickly.
Blessings and dreams,