Slip of Paper|December 27, 2014

On the last day of my writing class, the professor had us do something that wasn’t really writing related. He boosted our self-esteem. Well, at least he boosted mine.

First, he had us take a piece of paper on which we would answer his questions. It sounded like a quiz and he assured us that we would get extra credit.

He had us write down a thought that always seemed to go through our minds and hurt us. This was a little uncomfortable for me to think about since I just had a bunch of anxious thoughts coming through. I quickly scrawled a thought down and adverted my eyes as I watch everyone else write down their reoccurring thoughts.

Underneath that thought, he had us write a thought that we should think more. Once he said that, I kind of had a feeling of what he was doing. I wrote my thought to counteract with my first negative thought that I wrote. Then, he had us answer a few more questions and the exercise was over.

A few people bravely shared their thoughts that they would try to have more often and I imagine that everyone was trying to figure out what thought would constantly bombard the other person. After people shared, the professor had us separate the first thought from the rest of the paper. He had us tear it up and then walk over to the trash can and throw it out. He went on to say that even though that negative reoccurring thought could still appear, the action of ripping up the paper, walking over to the trash can and throwing the tiny pieces of paper out would be deemed as a useless action by our minds, so we would associate that thought as useless. I started to smile as I realized  that that thought, that negative thought, was completely useless and time consuming. It was through the mind trick that I realized that those thoughts really don’t help or even build me. With the second, better thought, he had us separate it from the rest of the paper and put it in our wallet- where the money is. With that, he said that our mind would associate that thought as something important and useful. If we made it our computer background, then we would see it too much and just become numb to it. Unless we go through our wallet hourly, we’re not going to really remember that the nice thought would be there and when we see it, it would be a nice reminder.

So, I thought I’d share that technique/ mind trick with you. Perhaps you could try it on New Year’s Eve to just let go and remind yourself of what’s really important.

If my writing professor somehow finds this post, then I just want to say that I didn’t think it was cheesy. It actually helped me a lot, so thank you.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I hope you have a great start to the new 2015!

 

Alice

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