Two years ago I learned a lesson that I hope will stay with me the rest of my life. It is a lesson that would come in handy in the teenage years. Now I use it when I am standing in front of my husband with one foot jutting out at 11pm. Or when I’m staring (without seeing) out a window in quiet, somber moments.
Two years ago I learned to pop the bubble.
Strangely, this simple, simple lesson is one of the most useful tools I took away from the life maintenance (as I call it) therapy sessions I did after having my second baby. I tend to work things up in my mind. One problem becomes two, two problems become four . . . four become sixteen! For me, this tendency is greatly magnified after 8pm. “My husband hasn’t taken out the trash in a while” becomes “My husband must think I should be responsible for all the housework,” which quickly becomes “My husband is a chauvinist and must not really love me!” Which morphs into “I have no friends and my kids are out of control!” (Why hello, left field!)
When I sense my problems growing and can feel myself losing my footing, I tell myself to pop the bubble. I find something to get my mind off my troubles. Or if it’s late, I head straight to bed! If I can’t shake the spiraling thoughts, I pray for help and write them down in my journal, re-reading them later when I have gained more clarity.
The point is, I don’t let myself stay in that place. The place where my thoughts are spinning and my problems ballooning. The place where anger and discontentment breed. I am much quicker to pop the bubble and move on.
Have you popped any bubbles lately? What techniques do you use?
* I want to acknowedge that I know many problems are too serious to be “popped.” I am simply referring to that irrational spiral of thinking that I sometimes fall into.