Graves’ disease (or any thyroid disorder for that matter), as we all know, come with a nice set of mental symptoms like irritability, emotional liability, nervousness, restlessness, depression, anxiety and worrying, to name a few…
It’s a well-known psychological fact that emotions feed your thoughts and thoughts feed your emotions. If you feel angry, sad, frustrated etc. and keep thinking about the person or situation that caused you feel that way, you will “fuel” these emotions even more. That’s a never-ending circle but you can choose different emotions or different thoughts to break that vicious circle. How this happens in practice?
The emotional container of every person can hold up only certain quantity of emotions, it’s not expandable. It can hold up, let’s say, up to 2 gallons of emotions, not more. And you can fill out this container, so speaking, with whatever you want. Do you prefer joy, or sadness, or something else? It’s up to you!
There are also a few strategies that I used, and I still use to keep my negative emotions under control:
- Exaggerating worry strategy and designating a special day of the week for your negative emotions. Let’s say you choose Fridays to worry, be sad, self-pity yourself or be angry..This is your special day but only on this day you’re allowed to have your negative emotions. Postpone if they happen another day of the week. You’ll be surprised that this psychological trick really works!
- I am challenging you on this particular day to take a short break and start worrying about everything that comes to your mind: your job, your money, your mortgage, your husband, your kids, your parents, about global warming and politics, about deadlines and health. Start worrying and continue this way to the point where you become one big walking “Worry” and nothing else.
- Now, let’s turn this upside down or, as I like to say, flush this emotional toilet. Replace these very “unproductive” thoughts and turn your worries into: What if only good things happen to me… What if…. I find a better job, my kids do well at school, they are healthy, kind and understanding, my parents are in good health, my husband /wife wants to cook me a dinner or take me out, I have enough money, I finish my projects on time and so forth. What you gonna do with all that goodness that come on your way? You get my point. When these types of thoughts fill up your emotional toilet there will be no space left for the negative ones. We can worry about positive things as well, if we choose to do so. It’s that simple.
- Cultivate gratitude. Every night before going to bed grab a notebook and list just 3 things that you are grateful or blessed for (only for that particular day). These could be things like: food on your table, roof over your head, the beautiful day outside, the rain, the nice sales person, the time you had to rest, a promotion at work, nice conversation with a friend, good news about something. I am sure you can come up with something worth writing down.
Meditate or take some time off for yourself, even 30 min. and do nothing. Or put this 30 min on your to do list and do whatever you want. I promise, this simple strategy will recharge your energy and make you feel better. I’ve dedicated a whole article about meditation to convince you how good this is for you.
6. Know that to climb more you should generally carry less. To hear more, talk less. To succeed more, assume less. To gain more, resist less. To excel more, compete less. You’ve heard that from me before. So speaking, simplify your life and focus on just a few priorities (multitasking is not a fashion any more). That simple method will relieve your stress tremendously and make you feel much, much better.
7. Make passion part of your life. This picture came to me through Facebook, (don’t forget to LIKE us:) and I decided to share that with you as a strategy of coping with negative emotions, because there is nothing that can charge us more than incorporating passion in our lives. Passion is also connected with creativity and as we know, the throat chakra is responsible for creativity. So speaking express yourself with passion! What’s your passion? Planting flowers, writing, sports, hobbies of any kind. Find out what you’re passionate about and do more of that. Doing or creating something with passion will fill up your emotional container with positive emotions (so, there will be no place for negative emotions).
I have to admit that these strategies, regardless how simple and mundane they look, require patience, discipline and consistency. You’ll be creating new habits, but healthy ones, but it’s worth trying.
Happy flushing your emotional toilet! :)
If you have your own strategies and experience you want to share, please do so on my blog below…You can’t even imagine how many people you can help.
More on the subject of emotions:
Do I have more strategies for helping your mental symptoms and negative emotions? Of course I do and they are included in my book “Mental, Emotional and psychological aspects of thyroid disorders” ($24.95). Click on the book to find out more.