I hate surprises, and like always knowing what to expect. Whether it’s with work, making plans with friends, or even just my own thoughts, I like to be in control. I feel like I need to be in control. Especially when it comes to my own thoughts.
If you’ve never had intrusive thoughts, or even just had your thoughts be out-of-control, you might not know what I’m talking about, so I’ll try and explain. Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, unwarranted thoughts that usually accompany anxiety, depression, or OCD. They can come in the form of flashbacks or spontaneous thoughts, and can range anywhere from innocent to suicidal.
The best way I can explain these out-of-control thoughts is by saying it’s like putting your mind on shuffle. The next song could be Elton John, one of your favourites, or it could be U2, an album you hate that Apple chose for you. You never know what to expect, you feel like you have no control over your own mind.
This lack of control can be scary. For me, it’s very scary. I think that is why I like being in control in any area of my life that I can be. When my life is going smoothly my mind tends to be more clear. The flip side, unfortunately, also seems to be true; When I’m stressed and anxious, I have an increase of intrusive thoughts. It’s during these times that I depend on my planner, even more than usual. I use a daily planner that I absolutely love. It’s colour coded, has errand lists, to-do lists, quotes, and space for reflection. It keeps me not only organized, but grounded.
Keeping organized is my way of preventing intrusive thoughts from creeping into my mind. Some ways I cope when they do manage to sneak in are immediate affirmations, mindfulness and calming meditations, and of course, writing.
Hopefully every reader can either relate, or learn, from this post.
I’m okay, and so are you. See you next Sunday!