When I find myself in the round and round of a bad mental habit, I begin to look for the trigger. It is always about me; my thoughts/beliefs; my fears; and my defensiveness.
I use these sentence stems and fill in the blanks to get my answer.
I am afraid....
I don't want to admit....
I feel inadequate about....
By completing any of these sentences, I usually get my answer.
I am afraid... I can't succeed; I'm not good enough; he will leave.
I don't want to admit....I was wrong; I don't know; I can't do it.
I feel inadequate about...my body; my past; my finances.
When you get to the trigger, you will know because your answer resonates on a deep level. These responses will also lead you to the feelings you are resisting. With this awareness, you can stop the round and round and just sit with the feeling. Allow yourself a few minutes to take in the awareness and for it to run through your body.
Bethany's mind was going round and round in a critical loop about her coworkers. They were not carrying their weight and lacked follow through. She was especially critical of one person. When she began to complete the sentence stems she came up with two particular answers that really hit home. "I'm afraid they won't like me" "I'm afraid I will never fit in." She sat with that awareness and feeling which was a familiar sadness she felt in the center of her chest. After a few minutes with the feeling, she realized that being this critical of others, even if it was just in her own mind, was probably not helping her fit in or be liked. When she realized it was her feelings of inadequacy in connecting with others that was the basis of her round and round, she devised an alternative to her critical thoughts. She began to think about what she liked about her coworkers' contributions and made it a point to let them know. As she changed her mind, so did her relationships.