Coping with Thoughts, Anger, and Memories
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”
Imagine a fly buzzing around your room
Your first impulse may be to interrupt what you’re doing to kill the fly or get it out.
But what if every time you remove the fly, another appears
You spend your whole day worrying about catching flies instead of doing what you planned.
Even though the flies are annoying, to get any work done, you can’t spend all your energy trying to get rid of them.
What’s the point?
Trying to get rid of uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and memories is similar.
Spending all your effort trying to avoid or suppress them takes energy away from the things that you would rather be doing.
How could you practice accepting your feelings and thoughts rather than trying to change them?
You might allow your mind to review negative thoughts or memories without pushing them away.
Or notice, for example, how anger feels in your body without trying to get rid of it.
You could workout. You can accomplish one task tonight. You can cook some delicious food. You can book a vacation.
Was practicing acceptance helpful?
You: “Sort of”
I have an idea about what you can do
Engage in activities that you enjoy or have found enjoyable in the past; this fosters feelings of joy.
Moments when we feel the least like doing activities we enjoy like when we are feeling angry are actually the most important moments to do them because they can really improve our mood!
What about choosing something to do in the next 24 hours to improve your anger?
You: “I'd like to workout”
Now it’s important NOT to wait until you “feel like it” to do it.
Why is that?
Many times the motivation just comes after the activity.
So it’s best to put it on your schedule whether you “feel like it” or not.