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STOP SPIRALING: How to recognize and REVERSE spiral

If you're anything like me, you are an OVERTHINKER. This can be a good or bad thing depending on the starting point of your thoughts. I like to think I get it from my mom, she tells the most incredible stories of things that haven't even happened yet. Unfortunately, anxiety sometimes causes me to tell my mind the incredibly detailed stories of things that haven't happened yet. That's what spiraling is to me. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to spiral is to "show a continuous and dramatic increase." There are tons of other definitions that basically mean the same thing but for the purpose of this article let's keep it short and cute!

Now, fortunately, I've learned how to recognize spiraling thoughts much quicker over the years and do what I call a "Reverse Spiral". A reverse spiral, to me, is basically stopping whatever thought I'm having and going in a completely different direction. It changes my mood, my vibe and, ultimately, my outcome. It's important to recognize that your mind is YOURS and you have a choice in your thoughts. The physical world is only an echo of your thoughts so don't let your thoughts bully you.

The first step in reverse spiraling is breath work. STOP your mind in it's tracks and notice your breathing. Is it shallow? Full? Rapid? Stop and box breathe.

Next, choose another thought. I know that sounds too simple and sometimes simple feels harder than a more complex process so here are a few different options of starting point thoughts:

  1. Remember the joy of a past experience (a win, a trip, an era: I like to think about the 90's or 70's LOL)

  2. Imagine something wonderful happening in your future

  3. Focus on something you love/appreciate (a pet, a friend, family member, crush, favorite place, etc)

Finally, to reverse spiral, focus on that thought for 1 minute. Put a timer on, listen to an instrumental, or box breathe with that thought for at least one minute. What you'll notice is other thoughts related to that first thought will come to you. After that, you'll find yourself reverse spiraling in a wonderful direction and getting back to the movie that is your life.

I wanted to make this article a bit shorter because it really is that simple. Remember, your thoughts are just thoughts. They've either happened in the past or could happen in the future but it's important to recognize that, future or past is NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENING NOW. Thoughts are seeds and you water them with your attention and energy.

Check out the audio of this podcast for an "on-the-go" reminder!

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