Getting Some Distance
It may feel nearly impossible to pull your thoughts away from COVID-19 right now. It’s reasonable to be consumed with this information. We’re all trying to get a handle on what this is and when it will end.
But getting completely tangled up in your fears, worries, and irritations isn’t going to help you. Let’s try two different exercises to help you manage your thoughts.
Looking at Your Thoughts
The video below introduces a tool that helps you manage negative thoughts:
Defusing Your Thoughts
With defusion, you can start to separate yourself from your COVID-19 thoughts.
When your mind tells you something negative, don’t think about it in those words. Add “I’m having the thought that…” at the beginning.
For example, “I’m having the thought that I’m worried I might become ill and not be able to care for my loved ones.”
This helps give you distance from the thought, and allows you to notice how thoughts can feed panic.
Let's Try It
- First thing to do:
- Add “I’m having the thought that…” before your negative thought.
- Second thing to do:
- Add “I notice that I’m having the thought that…”
- Play with the words. See how you react to saying this, instead of just “thinking” the negative COVID-19 thought. Does it feel more distant? How did it feel to try this exercise?