Many people don’t realise the impact of what’s on their mind…… How significant are your thoughts? Do you realise that what you think about is likely to affect your mood, your daily functioning, your sleep, your relationships? Our “mindset” is actually “really” important – and it often relates to what you are thinking about – and that can relate to your life overall – current and past…..
Mums are so busy – lots to do, so you would “get it” that whats on your mind affects so many things…..Firstly, what you think about, strongly influences how you feel – that is, your “mood”. If you are dwelling on things from a conversation with someone, or what your partner said to you this morning or last night – then chances are you will feel differently. If you are worrying about something; a deadline or finances…then you are likely to feel stressed or worried. If you are thinking about how you don’t have many friends or that no-one ever visits you….then Yes, you will feel “down” or even depressed. And then, having a young child (or several children) being noisy, demanding or not listening, can add another layer to the challenges in your day.
Secondly, what’s on your mind can affect how you feel about yourself – that is your “self-esteem”. This is a complex one, but the essence is that if you are feeling down already, or “self-conscious” then you won’t feel confident and you may have negative thoughts about yourself. How we think and feel about ourselves is vital to how we function overall, and interact with others.
Third, how you are thinking, and what you are thinking – it will affect how you interact with others. So, your mood and thoughts will affect your interactions – both with a partner and with children.
Another aspect of our thoughts involves thinking and worrying about the future. For some people, this may be a reflection of their true situation. For example, if I have no job, then I worry about money or I have a job but lots of debt so I worry about money – or I am stressed due to the complex family separation process. But, for some people…the worries are not true and as such they create anxiety. For example, irrational fears about being a home being broken into, or “what if” thoughts about something bad happening. Allowing these thoughts to dwell in our mind and to continue, will again affect how we feel and increase the likelihood of physiological symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, breathlessness, agitation and panic attacks.
For some people, what’s on their mind is distressing: memories of past traumatic events – perhaps abuse from their childhood, or difficult relationships or maybe a traumatic accident or incident. Perhaps losing a loved one, a parent or child or partner is distressing circumstances. The memories or flashbacks can be so disruptive, impacting on sleep, relationships or daily functioning. It is likely to be very challenging to cope with this by yourself and the support of a therapist or counsellor can be essential to rising above this situation.
Many people don’t realise that “whats on their mind” can have such an impact on their “day” or even their “night”. Many people have insomnia or difficulty sleeping and it may relate very closely to their thoughts. So, being able to be self-aware is most beneficial. If you can notice how you feel and what you are thinking about, then you are several steps already in the right direction – that is being aware of your “mindset” can help you to “rise above” all of your challenges, struggles and difficulties. Certainly for anyone, being tired can affect our mood and our thoughts….
Many people say “think positive” or “Dream big”. Others say “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. All of these are strategies to help you with your thoughts and ultimately how you feel. If you are able to notice your thoughts or your thinking patterns, then you can do something further about it. This is the basis for common counselling techniques, especially those utilised in cognitive behavioural therapy. It can be most beneficial to seek professional involvement and therapeutic support in this situation.
Some people spend time on their personal development – reflecting on their past, noticing their worries and their habits, perhaps seeking guidance with a coach or counsellor or Psychologist. Other people use positive affirmations or visualizations to help influence their “mindset”.
Here are some strategies to improve your wellbeing and to “rise above” whatever is on your mind……
- Spending some time reflecting on your day – diary, journal or art
- Share your thoughts and feelings with someone else
- Keep active with regular physical activity
- Perhaps Meditation or Yoga can help you with self care
- Remember the work-life balance…..
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