This, thankfully, will be a short post and a short read because this chapter is rather simple.
For the full-blown hot mess of a mental case, as I once was, this is going to take some time. It’s not easy to remember what to do when you’re in the middle of a panic crisis.
Going strictly by how this worked with me, it may be different for you, remembering to stop the hamster wheel was the hardest part. Sometimes I got it right away, other times not so much. What I did concentrate on was trying to make each big occurrence shorter – to recognize that the wheel was building up steam sooner. I can say this, the more I went through the mental exercise, the better I got at it.
Changing the tape has its challenges as well. Honestly assessing one’s mental filter so it can be changed or making peace with the negative thoughts we’ve held onto since we were young can be a rough road. Typically we want to hold onto the filters because that’s all we’ve known. I had a very hard time admitting to myself that the way I perceived things that “happened to me” was off. I struggled because I was trying to fix a problem with the same brain that created the problem in the first place (though the help I had from sponsors was what made the difference). Eventually, once I had a few successes that really took root and worked, the honest assessment came easier. It was amazing how honest I was willing to be once I found how deep the peace and happiness rabbit hole is. The more honest I was, and the more open I was to change, the better my life was. It’s that simple and the speed and efficacy of this will depend on how much “open” and “honest” each person brings to this.
Practicing the two principles, stopping the hamster wheel and changing the tape, will take time but if your experience is anything like mine, you’re going to learn new ways to, not just think outside of the box, but think your way out of the box.
And remember to look at the bright side: If this works for you, it cost you nothing more than a little bit of mental exercise. Practice hard my friends, the more you do, the better you make the world by you being in it.
Part 1 is here.