For the last couple of mornings and evenings I’ve either woken up or gone to bed feeling angry. Feeling angry about something that hasn’t even happened. And may not happen. Yet I’ve allowed thoughts to intrude and impact my first and last feelings of, what have otherwise been, thoroughly lovely days. Nothing has even happened to trigger those particular thoughts. They just popped into my head uninvited, and once there, spent a few hours getting comfortable.
I’m second guessing things that may happen. I’m reading too much in to something. Maybe I’m feeling slightly threatened by it. I have no real proof these things will pan out the way my brain is seeing them. These things are not fact. Yet I’m struggling to shift the vibe.
In Psychologies Magazine, experts Sophie Mort and Ivan Franekova offered six ways to soothe anxiety. One of which was to act as judge and jury. The idea being that when you get a feeling something is a bit off and you can’t shake that vibe, you start to second guess, mind read and catastrophise without any real proof.
Mort and Franekova suggested taking your thoughts to court to help realise they are not fact. It encourages you to look at the concrete proof of your intrusive thought rather than going with assumptions.
First you identify your “hot thought” that is causing you distress. Then either in your head, or on paper if its easier, look for factual evidence to support your hot thought. Next look for the evidence against it. Finally, consider alternative thoughts, perhaps imagining what a friend would say about it. This reasoning can help pause and challenge your anxiety.
So applying those to my hot thought: Evidence for is previous experience, it has happened before and could easily happen again. Evidence against is that it hasn’t happened yet, and might not. That friend might say “so what if it does, what real harm is it going to do you?”
In reality its such a trivial thing but something that seems to be bothering me for some reason, and I know it really shouldn’t. It may not happen. It might, but so what if it does? Who will it hurt? No one. It will mildly inconvenience me for a few minutes. I may have no choice in the matter “for the greater good” and I’ll be doing someone else a favour if I do it.
I can feel myself getting riled up even as I write this. By the time you’ve read this it will be over one way or another and I’ll be asking myself what the big deal was all about.
And we will all have moved on.
One thought on “Playing judge and jury”
Aww, hope it has passed and wasn’t as awful as you thought it might be. I’m guilty of thinking/feeling like this sometimes. I can blow things out of all proportion but have probably got the wrong end of the stick 🤷♀️🤦♀️