Something during the day may have happened, and you can’t stop replaying the day or the moment. For one, I know exactly how that feels, and I have a couple of suggestions that I use to help combat this destructive thought pattern.
I used to replay encounters after meeting someone that day, even if it was for the briefest of meetings. I would replay it over and over again; why? I have no idea, but it affected my mood so strongly, I found it difficult to cope. So I ended up avoiding people to keep some sanity.
I learned a constructive suggestion after attending occupational therapy. And I pass it onto you. It won’t help everyone, so I have also added another option that may help you stop the replay.
This is all about being in the moment. I never thought it would work when I first encountered it, but the more I try it, the more it works. It doesn’t reduce the replay continuously; it has to be done when they occur; the thoughts will occasionally pop in. But these episodes are at least 80% reduced in their severity.
I can see people now and not worry about what they are thinking or when I return home what they thought; I won’t be worrying if I said anything wrong, and if I do, I use the raisin technique or the meditation method further down.
How to do it
Please take a few raisins and place them in the palm of your hand. Look at them. Look at their shape. Lift them to your nose to smell them. What do they smell like? Is there an aroma of flowers or sweetness?
Take one of those raisins and feel its skin between your fingers? What does it feel like? Is it soft and squidgy? Are there any hard bits, like a tiny little stalk? What do the bumps and ridges feel like? Really observe this little fruit. Is there any speckling? What shades are there? Do they vary with the bumps?
Now stick out your tongue and rub a raisin along the top, then the side and then the underneath. Describe in your mind the different variations in texture. What was the taste like? How did the bumps and ridges feel? Did it taste different on various parts of your tongue? Repeat it with another raisin; how does this one fair to the last one? Is it the same or different?
Pop a raisin in your mouth and roll it around; feel it warm as it travels around your mouth. What does it feel like rolling across your tongue? How does it feel when it touches your teeth? Use your tongue and push it against your teeth. Does it feel squishy or as though it will pop? Use your front teeth and bite down gently on them but not enough to break it; how much pressure can you put on it? Now move it to your back teeth. Is the pressure the same?
Now squish the raisin with your teeth; what does it taste like? Has your mouth gone watery? How does it feel against your teeth? Has it got stuck in your teeth? What is your tongue doing?
Pop all the raisins into your mouth and let your tongue count them all? How many is there? Are the raisins different shapes and textures? What does it feel like when you crush them all between your teeth? Is the taste any different to a single raisin?
Sit there until you have swallowed every last part of the raisins, and wait until your tongue stops rooting around for morsels.
You have lived in the moment where only the raisin existed. No past, no future, just now.
There are plenty of meditation apps out there, and there are plenty of free ones. Just a word of caution for those who have bipolar, the apps that use drumming or binaural beats can cause a bit of a high; well, they do for me, so you might want to avoid these if you are trying to relax.
Use a guided meditation – as just music or bird song will still leave your brain with enough room to think. And the last thing you want is for your brain to replay the events you are trying to place into room 101.
Make sure you will not be disturbed; choose an app that will work when your phone is on plane mode as there is nothing worse than a message coming through when you are in the middle of a meditation.
Lie down in a warm room or your favourite comfy seat and loosen your clothing. Follow the instructions given by the app, and it will help to dissipate feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
You can get specific meditations for boosting confidence, this will also work well, but the decent versions of these usually cost a bit of money.
The occupational therapy raisin technique is worth a go, but it might take several attempts. Mainly because you might find it odd or strange paying so much attention to a shrivelled grape. If you still can’t get on with it, then try various guided meditations. Hopefully, the first one will work for you.
Peace & Blessings x