Kim Gibson, MS, ATR, LPCC
Anxious? or Depressed? A grounding exercise to try if you are getting hooked by your thoughts.
Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That's an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That's amazing! Other experts estimate a smaller number, of 50,000 thoughts per day, which means about 2100 thoughts per hour. Regardless of which estimate is closer to the truth, both are big numbers.
Imagine if we reacted to every thought we had in a day? We would be non-stop. The majority of our thoughts we can (fortunately) filter out, just like we do with spam email, but some thoughts, the heavy ones, really hook us. These heavy thoughts are the ones that lead to all sorts of "what if?" questions and can contribute to anxiety. Or we follow the thoughts that are negative or contain regrets from our past, which can contribute to depression.
So what is the solution? Awareness AND staying in the moment. Of course, this is easier said then done. It takes practice. But one way to practice is by trying the following grounding exercise that involves your five senses. Please see below for instructions & let me know how it goes.