Back to the subject of thoughts, and the 50,000 – 60,000 or so we have every day, from time to time a “negative” thought will pop up. A thought like “I should never had said that”. Instead of letting the thought go by (and briefly experiencing the angst that accompanied it), you might start “thinking about your thinking” and create a Thought Storm.
A Thought Storm is when you begin to have more thoughts about a thought. You just can’t leave it alone as you attempt to come to terms with it by more thinking. It could look like this – following the “I should never have said that”, you think “what an idiot I was”, “what was I thinking?”, “I am sure it was a career-limiting move”, “I hope I don’t see that person again anytime soon”, “what does he/she really think of me now?”.
What happens when this happens? You tend to feel even more regret, greater embarrassment, heightened anxiety which makes it harder to leave the thoughts alone. You might experience an entire tsunami of emotions, become even more rattled and make more dreadful assumptions about the repercussions of what you said.
What to do when this happens? If you realize that feelings arise from thoughts in the moment, you could simply “leave your thinking alone” and let it all pass. If you are like most of us though, you tend to believe that your thoughts are “real”and find it difficult to slough them off, especially when the memory resurfaces to taunt you.
If so, this is the perfect time to whip out your Emotional Freedom Technique tool and tap on the emotions surrounding your thoughts. Start with “Even though I regret saying that, I choose to I accept and honour myself’. With a few rounds of tapping you will release the emotional charge around the incident, terminate your self-recrimination, and finally move on to happier thoughts.