How I manage my itty bitty shitty committee

As I type this blog I am less than two months away from the due date for my first baby, and my mind is swirling with a thousand thoughts!

 

Mostly, I’m super excited to meet the tiny person growing inside me.  I’m excited about the next adventure for my husband and I, and excited to embark on a new stage of life.

 

But I’d be lying if said I’m not also very nervous!


Unfortunately, my mind (like all of our minds!) is hardwired to focus on negatives especially when we’re sleep deprived like I am at the moment  (thanks pregnancy insomnia!).  I call this tendency towards negative nellyville, my itty bitty shitty committee.

 

Some of the topics being broadcast by my itty bitty shitty committee this week are: how on earth I’m going to cope as a new mum, how woefully unprepared I feel, how much I’ll struggle with sleep deprivation and how Be More You (by business baby) will go to rack and ruin when I take time off for maternity leave.  Hear all about it in the video below!

The good news is … thanks to practicing mindfulness, I’m now much better at not taking my itty bitty shitty committee broadcasts so seriously!

 

And I wanted to share my three step approach to tackling the unhelpful broadcasts of my itty bitty shitty committee so you can be too!

 

1. Awareness

This may seem obvious, but the first step to tackling unhelpful thoughts is becoming aware of them!

 

When you practice mindfulness you are practicing bringing awareness to your present moment experience.  And in particular, bringing awareness to the random, repetitive (and often negative nelly!) nature of your thoughts.

 

Once you become aware of your thoughts you have much more control over them and how they impact your life.

 

2. Is the thought helpful?

 

Once you’re aware of your thoughts the next step is to ask yourself: is this thought helpful?

 

We’re not concerned with whether the thought is true. It may be 100% true that you ate an entire block of chocolate, but is ruminating over this and beating yourself up about it helpful?

 

Normally if the thought is worry, fear or judgment based then it’s NOT HELPFUL!

 

As much as we assume it’s helpful to criticise ourselves, worry about tomorrow, and beat ourselves up over what happened yesterday, the reverse is actually true!

 

3. Create space

 

If you mind is broadcasting unhelpful thoughts, the best thing you can do is learn to create space from the thoughts and stop taking them so seriously.

 

I wish I could give you a magic bullet to stop, control, or reduce your thoughts. But we think between 60-80 thousand thoughts a day, so trying to stop our thoughts is a futile exercise!

 

And often, the more you try to stop the thoughts, the stronger and louder they become.

 

So the best thing you can do is to learn how to stop taking your thoughts so seriously, so they have less power and control over you.

 

This won’t make the thoughts stop or go away, but it will mean they have less impact on you and how you live your life.

 

And this is just one of the mind mastery skills I teach in Mindfully You; my learn as you go introduction to mindfulness course, that will teach you how to tame your negative mind, so you can focus more on fist pumping, feel good thoughts and less on your itty bitty shitty committee.

 

Keen to learn more?  Head on over to my website to get all the details.

 

 

Emily Mason