Man with spinning thoughts - adhd

ADHD: A Simple Trick to Stop Your Thoughts From Spinning around and around

Do you know that feeling when the thoughts are just spinning – around and around, and it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it?

Perhaps you also know the feeling of not control over your thoughts, but that thoughts are really controlling you.

Or maybe you heard your child or your partner talk about it?

In this article I’ll walk you through a mental training exercise that makes it possible for you to control your thoughts. And hopefully that’ll help you realize that there’s an enormous potential for transformation in your mind and in your child’s mind.

After the exercise, I explain a bit about how and why this works like it does, and I explain how you can use it with your child.

Are you ready?

For optimal results make sure that there is peace and quiet around you for at least the next five minutes, so you have time to both read from the screen and do the exercise. When you’ve done that, return to the text and do the exercise again.

Spinning Thoughts

This exercise if for you if you have spinning thoughts. You’ll know that you have spinning thoughts because you sometimes use that phrase or at the very least kind of recognize the saying. If you never use the phrase spinning thoughts, this exercise might not have an effect on you. Feel free to do it anyway if you are curious.

  • Concentrate now on the thoughts spinning around. If you do not have them right now, think back to a situation where the mind really had a good spinner. Put yourself mentally in that situation again and re-live it as if you were there.
  • Allow the thoughts spin right now. Usually you tend to fight against them. Don’t do that. Let them spin freely instead.
  • While letting the thoughts spin around, notice which way they spin. Make the same movement with your hand as if you are showing me which direction the thoughts are spinning around. Maybe you already know this movement with your hand, because you use it when the thoughts are spinning to illustrate the spinning? Is it clockwise or counterclockwise? Forwards or backwards?
  • Imagine that you can get them to spin even faster now. Around and around. Speed up your hand to show the speed increase.
  • Can you make them to spin even faster?
  • Now slow them right back down to their “normal” speed.
  • And now imagine that the thoughts are spinning the other way around. The same speed and in the opposite direction.
  • Reverse the movement of your spinning hand, and let the hands show how the thoughts spin when they spin the other way round.
  • If it feels right – imagine the thoughts running faster and faster the other way around.
  • Now slow them down again.
  • Continue slowing them down. Slower and slower.
  • Until they calm down completely.
  • Notice how your hand is not moving either.

Allow yourself to enjoy this moment …. 😉

Debriefing

Now it may be that you’re thinking: “That was strange!”

Maybe the thoughts really are still. Maybe not. Maybe it was difficult for you to do the exercise, or maybe you think it’s too weird to talk about your thoughts in this way. It is perfectly fine – there will be other exercises for you later!

It does feel kind of strange to talk about thoughts in this way. The interesting thing is, that we do actually talk about our thoughts like this all the time, – just not consciously. We use metaphors to describe what is going on inside of us. We just don’t realize it, so we don’t take it serious.

When we talk about our thoughts using metaphors, the thoughts are often described as active and in motion or as if they have their own will.

  • “My thoughts are spinning around,”
  • “Every time I try to concentrate, my thoughts get in the way,”
  • “My thoughts will not leave me alone,”
  • “My thoughts are driving me around,” and so on.

This exercise exploits the fact that if we transform the metaphor, we transform the inner experience. And when we do that, our behavior changes too.

If you imagine doing this exercise twice today and twice a day over the next week, how good do you think that you’ll be at controlling those thoughts in a weeks time?

Doing The Exercise With Your Child

Girl with spinning finger at temple - adhd spinning thoughts

If you want to do this exercise with your child, you can just guide him/her through it with a slow voice. Give him time to do what you ask him to do in his mind. Look for cues that he is doing it. Look at the hand, etc.

At the end, ask him if there’s anything else he needs to do to the thoughts to help them stay calm. Whatever he answered, you just answer: “Okay, just imagine that you do that now!” with a smile. He may or may not be able to do it, but you have both given it a great first go at transforming spinning thoughts from the inside out.

This is the kind of transformation that you learn in the Transformational Parenting course that I am working on. And it’s the kind of transformations that your child will be able to do alone in the ADHD Power Mind series.

Now Over To You

How did the exercise go for you?

What happened at the end?

Write in the comments below if you had success with the exercise. How was it for you right after the exercise?

Write also if it did not work. What was it that did not work, and what will it take to make the exercise work for you?

If you are interested in more exercises like this make sure to sign up for the newsletter. This is where I’ll let you know when the Transformational Parenting and the ADHD Power Mind program opens.

Have a great day,

Anders

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