Often we have to complete a task and the first thought is “I don’t like it!” Cross-thinking is one strategy I want to offer you to challenge this thinking. Here’s why.

I don't feel it!

My mood can make me a little crazy sometimes. They can vary quite a bit, although I’m generally a pretty tidy person. For example, I can feel very high when a new client contacts me, and it’s a great fit. It’s a big dopamine hit for my little therapy brain.

Then there are other times when the random isolation of doing personal practice alone gets to me. I am a person who likes to connect with others, especially one-on-one or with a small, intimate group of friends. Nothing gives me more pleasure than these relationships.

But – as Mick Jagger said – you can’t always get what you want, or at least not immediately, or without some effort by you.

I’m willing to bet that many of you struggle with these same mood swings throughout the day in response to various thoughts and/or events that begin to run through your head.

That’s the thing.

The mood is coming. The mood goes.

This is so.

Get stuck

So when you’re in a very mixed mood, you’re actually paying a lot of attention to that particular thought or set of thoughts. They are can important, but getting stuck on them does nothing to solve the problem. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking all day and waiting to get somewhere.

Anxiety is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking all day and waiting to get somewhere.

Instead, you brood and stay inside your head. Worrying that a problem-solving method isn’t working. That’s why you do it feels as if you are doing something. And often anxiety a habit one you have developed, one you have learned. And everything learned can be learned.

I didn’t say it would be easy. But it is absolutely possible.

Mutual Thinking

One suggestion for countering “I don’t feel like him” is to think about opposite thoughts. What do your negative thoughts lead you to? You can do something purposeful opposite of their “orders”? Here is an example.

Say you’re going to get up and go for a walk or go to the gym to exercise. (I mean, it’s the new year!) You don’t feel it like it. This will allow you to manage your feelings when it is against your overall goal while sticking to your fitness plan. So what do you do? Think reciprocally. Place your sweaty gym clothes where you will step when you stand up. I mean really, who cares if they’re super squeaky clean? And then when…

The Gremlins in Your Head Strike

Even though the gremlins in your head are singing the hallelujah chorus of “It’s too hot, it’s too cold, I’m too tired, I’ll just skip this one class, I won’t feel good at work” I’m too tired, I hate to exercise”….go anyway. You don’t need to try to close the “gremlins”. You just let them ride and no matter what you do, within about 10 minutes those pesky gremlins will retreat and it’s a double win for you that you didn’t let them win. First, you ignored negative emotions. Second, you’ve done something great for your body in line with your real, overall goal.

Reciprocal Thinking Works with Other Tasks

You can apply this “thinking strategy of reflections” to many projects or tasks that you don’t do feel it like doing Take down holiday decorations. Taxes. Yard work. House cleaning. Large reports or projects. Getting started is often the hardest part. Just remember to break the task down into manageable chunks so it’s not overwhelming. Pay attention to this word feeling’ if it plays in your head and then go in the opposite direction to get sh*t was done. Such feelings are usually around immediate gratification. Leading with emotion will often defeat your more positive intentions. Just because of you feel it a certain way does not necessarily make it right or useful.

If you need help with this or want to address your disturbing thoughts, please contact me here.

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