Compulsively Thinking Peace and Health

 

 

Compulsively Thinking Peace and HealthI am a compulsive thinker. Most of us are. Did you know that some 60,000 thoughts rattle about in our head throughout the course of the day? In our society, it is sometimes considered to be an asset. People who think a lot are believed to be smart. hthinking hepatitis c cirrhosis

A person is believed to be a forward thinkers if they plan for the future.

They are considered realistic if they look at, and learn from the past.

What about those who focus on the present moment?

When you purposefully seek  a present minded approach in everything that you do, it helps your mind to be at peace. Your body will follow your mind and soon you will begin to experience more health.

When we think well, it is easier to stay on top of things. We feel smart. But when our thinking grows out of control, we run the risk of losing our peace of mind. Busy and anxious thoughts are a clue that it is time to slow down our thinking.

My lesson plan for life started with ARMing a goal. My goal was to have more peace of mind. I have been pretty darn consistent in following the plan. I sincerely hope that some of you have joined me in taking the time to think about what you are thinking. If you are like me, you may have found a few surprises.

It starts when I first wake up. Leaving for work at sunrise requires me to get up early and stick with a routine. Every morning I wake up and read some of my favorite quotes that my google+, facebook, and twitter friends have shared. Tammy posts some loving thoughts. Duane Wilson inspires me to accomplish my goals. Books, notes, and websites offer great thoughts while my brain wakes up.

I race through these posts and then spend some time in quiet reflection on my meditation cushion or yoga mat. This is where I can experience problems. I am willing to bet you do too. My mind will go racing toward the next thing to do instead of just sitting with a peaceful thought. I bring it back to the present, but before I know it, my mind will reflect on something that needed to be done yesterday. A victim of my own compulsive thinking again.

If not curbed, our mind will actually begin to predict our future instead of enjoying the present. “What if’s” can fill our heads and immobilize us to act in a way that is not beneficial for healthy living.  This is where we stop that compulsion to think ahead, or behind, and train our thoughts on the “right now” moment. If we want to make any progress toward our goals, it is important to stop, look, and listen to where our thoughts are. Otherwise, we can find ourselves stuck in a life that we never intended to live.

“Don’t look where you don’t want to go.”

My morning routine is like a Good Word Breakfast! It has helped me to set my mind in the direction that I want to go.

I have to admit, by the time I grab my car keys and head out the door, some of those words have faded. So I go into my classroom where I post a good quote on the board for my students! It helps me stay on track mentally and spread good thoughts to everyone who passes through my room. I am able to do the task in front of me and compulsively think peaceful and healthy thoughts.

By the time I get in my car after work, most days I am exhausted. Living with cirrhosis can take such a hard toll on our body and mind. Wouldn’t you know that I have a set of “I Am” statements sitting right on the dashboard? It provides me an opportunity to see how far my thoughts have drifted off course throughout the afternoon. By spending less than 30 seconds scanning that list, I set my mind for the commute home.

Compulsive thinking worry peaceMy home is full of good words. When I walk in the door, they are on the fridge, beside the computer, on my wall calendar, and even beside my bed.

 Even though I can see those great quotes, sometimes I am too tired for them to register. I have found that a short quiet time helps me to center my focus again. Soon I am ready to work on a blog, respond to posts on the HCV Q & A, and to chat with my cyber best friends.

Some days life does not give me good news. I may find a pile of medical bills in my mailbox. That familiar heaviness reaches out to grab me. I stop and reflect on my Good Words. By listening to my thoughts, I am taking responsibility for my inner dialogue.

When I am full of positive thoughts about solutions – and not buried with anxious thoughts – I am able to offer hope and encouragement. I even encourage myself!

I surround myself with good people. Every single forum and every person that I follow on the internet are people who are like me. They are trying to live out the life that they were destined to live. Sure, they have fears about the future. Some have had transplants, failed treatment, or lost loved ones. Some are spending their day in chronic pain. But in my world, everyone really tries to offer the very best of their thoughts to the ones who need them.

I spend time with family and they always know that good words are spoken by me. Compulsive thinking cirrhosis hep cRecently, my granddaughter texted me while I was driving. I asked my other granddaughter to text her back and pretend to be me. She laughed as she typed and hit send.When I asked her what she had said, she laughed even more.

She said, “I told her that she was a bright shooting star and I sent star icons. You always say things like that to us Nana.”

If I don’t do anything else in my life, that is enough. To know that I have created a world of good words for my grandchildren gave me such joy. Remember, these are the little ones who saw me crying and griping during Riba Rage.

They learned through my treatment that life is hard, but  good words can help.

Next to my bed is an index card. I filled it out while writing the “I Am _______” blog. It has my 5 favorite I Am statements. I say them just before reaching to turn out the lamp. Then I pray and meditate by listening to my thoughts. If they stray to a problem, I bring them back to the I am statements. When I relive a moment from earlier in the day or earlier in my life, I think of a positive thought.

My favorite one right now is I Am Content. It does not matter what I have faced in the past, or what I will face in the future. I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am in.

My compulsive thoughts? They are just that. Thoughts. They cannot change my present situation. They cannot undo any past. They cannot keep me from a bright future. They are thoughts.

By choosing my thoughts, the negative situations that I am facing have much less power over me.  I can slowly speak the positive words in my mind until I am at a place of peace.

Speak Good words like a bossI have to say good words to myself every single day. I think they leak out slowly. I will think that my Good Word bank account is full, but when a negative situation arises, my compulsive thoughts are not always positive. I am working hard at Compulsively Thinking Peace and Health.

I hope you have joined me in Arming a goal. Maybe yours is having more peace of mind too. I often wonder if any of you are working on it daily with me.

Even if you are not, I am thinking positive thoughts FOR you. You are learning to have more contentment and peace in your life too. I like that thought.  xo Karen:)

Are you working on a goal that is Achievable, Realistic, and easy to Measure? What are YOU thinking about? Drop me a line..

pics via lifeisgood.com, psychology today.com

About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at http://www.ihelpc.com

26 thoughts on “Compulsively Thinking Peace and Health

  1. Compulsive thoughts have been difficult for me always. My mind is noisy all of the time.
    Sticking with a basic plan early in my day helps keep my mind headed toward the positive. Getting out of my world and helping someone else takes those positive thoughts and puts them into action. I love how you write Karen. Always relevant to what’s going on in my life.

    Thanks!

    1. I’m with you on the noisy mind Joe. You’re absolutely right. Putting our thoughts into action is where the rubber meets the road. I’m laughing. If I don’t put it in gear, I can spin out for the rest of the day!
      We’ve got a lot in common. Especially about getting up early and heading out to help others. You and I both know that it isn’t always easy. I hope that you are feeling well and your week is full of love and laughter. You give a lot of love Joe.

      xoxo Karen:)

  2. Hey Karen,
    It sounds like you have learned to make your coping skills automatic.
    As effective as our mind is generating potentially negative or even catastrophic thoughts, it is equally effective at filtering them to thoughts that motivate us, help us to cope with difficulties, and best of all show empathy and compassion.
    It seems our helter skelter society favors the chaotic thought process and makes it harder to engage the leveling, balanced and proactive response.
    Psychologists and therapists call it mindfulness, CBT etc. Religious faiths have long called it prayer. Meditation, conscious gratitude all fall under the same umbrella.
    The Scientific community are finding amazing things about the minds ability to form new emotional pathways to help with anxiety, depression through neuro-plasticity.
    In a way they are all examples of filtering or intercepting negative thoughts before we react to a situation.
    During the rehab I completed they put a lot emphasis on exploring these coping strategies from various perspectives. To view it simply is to intercept the two way street of trigger and reaction by making it a triangle with a coping mechanism between the two.
    I have tried to put them into use on “the outside and find that do indeed begin to become automatic. My schizophrenic sister seriously attempted suicide yesterday and I spent the day visiting her and my mum in the local hospital. 7 weeks ago that would have been more than enough to get extra drunk and take an extra pill or two.
    Long story short by using and practicing a more considered reaction I wasn’t even tempted to escape the situation but dealt with it and my subsequent feelings for the reality they were. I’m sure I did a better job of helping too.
    Shine on,
    Guido

    1. Guido!!

      I cleaned up old spam filter and found this. I put a new program on last fall and some things got clogged. I know that you have written since then and are doing well. That neuro-plasticity thing has a lot of people talking. At one point, it was believed that the brain was “set” by age 5 or 7. Remember those days? Now they are saying that we can relearn or reprogram our thinking in ways we never knew about. For sure it will help our society in dealing with any negative patterns including anxiety, habits, or stress.

      You are quite a thinker too. It can be a blessing and a curse. Taming the mind is a task that is never finished. I’m so sorry about your sister and am hoping that she is well. Suicide is a terrible thing for the family members. I truly she finds her way back to a peaceful perspective.

      And you dear friend, You and I just keep going. Fighting hard for our lives and the right to live it in peace, joy, and love.
      That’s the vibe I am sending across the Pacific tonight –
      xoxo Karen:)

      1. Karen,
        I am in constant awe at your willingness to help others; and I’m also in awe of the strength and courage of Guido. Sometimes a person extends a lifeline when only you knew that you were drowning, you have been blessed to be one of those people.
        I’ve never experienced deep depression, or I had no knowledge of it; after the passing of my Mom, I really believed that I was o.k., but I wasn’t; I felt the darkness of depression, the kind of depression that made me wish I’d died with my Mom. I didn’t share this with anyone, I just cried out to God, I reminded him of his promises to me, I told him that I’m not going to make it if he didn’t help me, and he did. He sent me a lifeline at the moment that I was going under. God bless you and Guido, you are both in my prayers and may he continue to bless you and allow you to be a blessing.

        1. Dorothy,

          You are such a kind friend to offer sweet words of support to Guido. He is amazing, isn’t he? I picture him bumping around Down Under healing and sharing the hope that he has found.

          Thank you for sharing your personal story of depression. We lost mom the year I was diagnosed. My sister took most of the responsibility to take care of her and has also battled a lot of depression. We just talked last night and I’m spending the day with her Saturday. She has a strong faith, but it has been tested, like yours has. It is very encouraging to hear your story. Isn’t that what is amazing about our personal struggles? We find we are not alone. God is with us. Then when we begin to heal, it seems that He connects us to others who need our comfort.

          Your words are comforting tonight dear one. Thank you for taking the time to share them. You never know who needs to hear it.
          xoxo Karen:)

          1. God is truly amazing, and I am so grateful to be of service to anyone who needs it; thank you for sharing with us.
            xoxo Dorothy:)

          2. Dorothy,

            Yes He is! You’re a blessing and your comments are always appreciated. It takes us all working together to provide love and support.

            Much love,
            Karen:)

  3. Hello Karen,
    You give a lot of love too:) Please send your link to your blog on care-giving again for me please. Thank you for all that you do.

    1. Dorothy – I certainly will. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make articles easier to find. I’ll send it this morning.
      It’s always great just to log on and look at your lovely pics. I really need a car trip through the south again. I haven’t seen a Live Oak or a Cypress Tree since I got sick.
      I hope your weekend is awesome!
      xoxo Karen:)

  4. Hey Karen,

    I oftentimes wonder why certain things happen to certain people. Like my Dad lived with cancer for over 47 years, my best friend just passed away at the age of 44, I have a friend that contracted Hepatitis C when he was just 19 and he’s now in his early 60’s.

    I feel guilty to even complain about the small things because I am truly blessed with great health and surroundings that keep me in a very positive mindset. Dealing with what you do and doing your best to help others can at times just drag you down even if you read positive quotes. Even I have my moments when I feel sorry for myself although I have the worst guilt trip afterwards for doing so.

    I think as long as we wake up each morning and thank God just to be here is a good start. It could be worse like my friend Scott who passed away 4 days after his birthday. Do we really have it that bad? Do we feel like crap a good bit of the time? Are some days just worse then others? The answer to that is yes but guess what. That’s part of life so we can make that choice of what to think in the next second that can change the way our day ends.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Karen and I so admire you for what you’re dealing with. You my friend are truly blessed.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Adrienne,
      What a great wake up read on Friday morning! You are one of the positive friends that I mention in my blog. I’ll be trying to figure out how to do something on the website, and you or one of your readers always have just the right piece of advice. You’ve been there, fixed that, and moved on! I love it!

      You are one of those people who are honest in an upbeat way. But you make me blush with your admiration. It means a lot dear friend.

      I also love your comment, yes – we feel like crap some days. But we make that choice to embrace all of life! Especially the Fridays. Thank God for Fridays! It’s Oklahoma High School Football night. I’ve got to go try and remind some football players that their education is as important as their game! Think I’ll be more convincing if I wear some paint on my face? lol. yeah.
      xoxo Karen:)

  5. Hi Karen,

    Thank you again for your visit to my blog. 60,000 thoughts in a day? Wow, what a fact! It’s urgent, then, that we learn to control our mind chatter.

    Feeding our minds good words really seems to help us do that because it encourages us to think about inspiring, positive things rather than negative criticism that brings us down. I really admire your commitment to reading the wise words of others to get your day started off right!

    I really enjoyed my visit here, and I look forward to more wonderful content! Have a lovely evening.

    ~ Kalina ~

    1. Hi Kalina – I’m glad you came by! I recently read that 60,000 thoughts… I’m trying to get mine down to a lower number. I think it will be easier to control them!
      I know that you feed your mind good words because you put off loving vibes. It’s a choice we make, isn’t it?
      I hope your week is great!
      Karen

  6. Hi Karen,

    Yes indeed, thinking positive IS the key 🙂

    I know we all go through tough times, and life surely isn’t easy. But if we can overcome those negative thoughts or learn how to change them to positive ones, we help ourselves in more ways than one.

    I like the idea of putting up positive affirmations all around the house because they DO work like magic and can change the way you think in a jiffy. Even looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that you are doing good or it’s going to be a good day makes you feel good overall.

    Ah…I should have wished you Happy Grandparent’s Day for the 8th, so belated wishes for that…I enjoyed reading the part about your grandchild texting on your behalf. Yes, small things matter and these are the ones that give us so much of joy that we can spend a whole lifetime just with them.

    I can understand that it’s not always easy for Compulsively Thinking to happen each time, but we can always try to keep aside the negatives and think positive, and that works!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Harleena –
      I do love those grandbabies! Being a mom yourself, I am confident that you work hard to keep positive thoughts flowing with your kiddos.

      I’ve enjoyed reading your practical advice on topics like “when kids are angry.” They have strong emotions and need our example of how to deal with them. This applies at home and in the classroom for me. The more I keep my thoughts on good things, the better I am able to love..

      Since I am not physically well all the time, I have to be super cautious to watch my thoughts and my heart. Maybe the best thing I can give my family is the ability to think more positively and say good words.

      I hope that your week is a great one too! I love it when you stop by my blog!

  7. Hi Karen,
    I AM happy to have read your post this morning 😉

    Seriously, your words were a breath of fresh air.
    It’s so easy to get caught up in the mindless chatter of our thoughts. It gets to a point where ‘they think us’ – and have a life and conscious of their own. That’s why it’s so important to learn to take the pause and question them.
    And when it’s understood that many of our thoughts are there by default – it makes it a little easier to allow ourselves to stop automatically believing them – especially if they’re negative.

    The “I AM” is such a great tool. Something I could do more often as well, so I’m appreciative of the reminder.

    I was surprised to read that you have grandkids. You look like you’re in your 30s.
    Must be the smile.

    1. Hi Dana –
      I DO love your good words on your blog and here. I may print your comment! I’m heading to the gym now to watch those grandkids tumble.
      I appreciate what you said about the faults that are on default. Negative thoughts are kind of habitual thinking.. I’m trying to break some old habits! Now you’ve got me to thinking about how some thoughts have a life and conscious of their own.
      I just know that when my world crashed upon diagnosis, that I had an opportunity to reevaluate how my thoughts could affect my longevity. I’m a work in progress!
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Karen:)

  8. Hi Karen

    Your post title caught my eye because I am so guilty of a chattering mind. In comparison to many, I have very little to worry about, thank God.

    Especially loved the bit about you granddaughter’s text. At 15months, mine can hardly speak – but I’ll bear in mind what she said about you as that would be a wonderful legacy for me to aim for.

    Joy

    1. Hi Joy! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I’m having a lot of fun with this goal. By the end of the week, it is easy to want to give in to negative thoughts. I love playing tricks on my mind and purposefully thinking joyfully.
      Grandchildren are truly a blessing. I’m sure yours will have sweet memories also.
      I hope you have a great weekend!
      Karen:)

  9. Wonderful insights on over-thinking! I, too, tend towards thinking too much and find when I think too much I end up exhausted and discouraged.

    I have learned to hit the off switch on “blenderhead” and find ways to anchor myself in the present such as thoughtfully considering each of my senses (what do I see/hear/smell/touch?), writing a gratitude list of everything in my life right now that’s wonderful, and taking deep breaths.

    I also sometimes remind myself that I don’t have to believe everything I think, nor do I have to believe everything I feel. For example, if I’m having a difficult day and feel stuck that doesn’t mean I actually don’t have choices. It’s more likely I feel stuck in a choice I previously made but I can always make a different choice!

    I’m grateful to read your post today, especially considering I’ve been struggling with some ongoing health issues that often leave me feeling worn-out and helpless. It’s wonderful to put it in perspective!

    Chrysta
    Chrysta Bairre recently posted…When is it okay to give up?My Profile

    1. Chrysta –

      I got stuck on your 3rd paragraph on feeling stuck. 🙂 I know that’s what myself, and a lot of my readers feel. Sometimes life does have a way of hedging us in. It could be the result of a previous choice. Sometimes it’s just part of living on our planet.

      I love what you said though: We can always make a different choice. Choosing to be grateful for our senses and the ability to take deep breaths. Yes. I’m smiling already because being alive means we have options.

      Getting to know you is one of the things that I am grateful for today. I need good food for my mind and love your heart of wisdom.

      Thanks so much for stopping by,
      Karen

  10. Hello Karen, I just love to read your blog and all of the great responses from the wonderful people on here.
    Like you I am a compulsive thinker and I can easily bring myself down or add to my anxiety.
    I was just at your post about Meditation where you helped me to get what medication is. Then I saw the Compulsive Thinking and clicked on it.
    I am so glad that I did, this has really helped me. I can see where I think negative things all day. I have a tendency to beat myself up over little things that I do wrong.
    I think I have learned from you to be nicer to myself. I don’t have to perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.
    Thank you dear Karen. I really appreciate this place to come to to learn, to share, to relax and just be. I can choose to be happy. I don’t have to think about my illness all the time.
    I have many limitations and tire easily. I am always trying to force myself to do more. It has been ingrained in to my brain. I see now I can choose to accept me for who I am not what I can do.

    You have been a huge blessing to me today
    Thank you
    Dee

    1. Dee,

      I remember how much we chatted while on treatment. It has helped me so much to blog. Gosh! We were so full of questions! The first ones on the protease inhibitors. We really endured. If we can get through that… we can do anything!

      I know you get it. We’ve both got liver disease and the thoughts can be quite dreary if we let them. Controlling our thoughts by slowing them down and concentrating on this very moment is the key to a peaceful mind. When we look at the past and what we went through – or look to the future and feel anxious, we can really feel sad.

      You’re soo very right about being nicer to ourselves and chillaxing. After facing the worst life can throw at us, we know that every minute is precious. We’re going to go out and live our lives to the fullest. When I think of all the time I spent worrying over something that never happened… lol. What a waste of time! It is smart to find a place of joy in spite of our circumstances. Once again, we’re in this together sister.

      You’ve learned so much. When I first started the blog, I wanted you to write one. The offer still stands! You have a great testimony of healing and strength. You’ve been through the fire and lived to tell the story. Anytime you want to share a struggle or a triumph, let me know sweetie.

      I love you with all my heart,
      xo Karen:)

  11. Thank you for sharing this blog. It is easy to let our minds wander to negative and stagnant thoughts…sometimes while I am praying I forget what I was doing and start thinking randomly. Reaching into my thoughts I say, oops, excuse me. And start all over. Compulsive thoughts are destructive and make me immobile, so I put them in a little box on my dresser, close the lid, and once a week I go through the box and remove all the thoughts that I was able to conqure with positive words, thoughts, and deeds. I am so greatful that you shared this with me to remind me to stay in the now. My favorite I am, is: I am at peace. Truly, with my plate full it took some doing, but I am there.
    Love you,
    Sheila

    1. Hello there! You are so right, I know that I can get negative and it just multiplies. Since meeting Karen I have tried really hard to remain positive. Like you I put my negative thoughts or problems in a kind of box and try not to think about them. It helps me to go on with my life, struggling, trying to live. I have always found Karen to be so helpful. Did you see her Liver Loving Recipes? They are in the right hand corner of the page. OOPS! I think I am repeating myself, sorry about that. It is a bad habit. I don’t mean to. I would like to get a little trampoline like she has demonstrated in her Utube videos. Have you seen her videos? They are really good. You can find them under Karen Hoyt, Utube Videos
      I have read a trampoline can be really good for our bodies. Well I have to run, but wanted to say hello 🙂

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