How we handle our thoughts can be very much like how we handle spiders in our home. This analogy is meant to prompt insight into how you deal with your anxious thoughts.
TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post contains description and engagement with spiders; if you have a phobia, aversion, or strong reaction to spiders, please do not read!!!
I was doing laundry in my home, and looked up at the ceiling, and right where the wall and ceiling meet, was a huge spider -- well it looked big to me, but it was really a small spider. As I watched it, I thought "I'm not tall enough to get it".....and then I thought "If I walk away to find something to get it, I might lose it". So I called my mother, who just happened to come into the laundry room area, and was carrying a duster. I showed her the spider, and she reached up to get it with the duster. It looked like it fell, but we couldn't see where (great, right?). So I said, "shake the duster on the ground", and she did. The spider fell right out, and I took care of it.
I want to make an analogy about spiders and our thoughts -- turns out, how we interact with, engage, and handle spiders in our homes, kind of looks like how we manage our thoughts!!
Here me out, lol, this is not about making you more scared or upset ......this is giving you an analogy of how we handle things that are distressing to us, and for some of us, handling spiders are distressing!!
What does one do when one sees a spider in the home? Well everyone has a different course of action, but the overall goal is often, to get it out of your home right? I mean, in most cases, we don't want spiders making a living in our home. For those of us who choose not to co-habituate with the 8 legged insects, we go through different ways of getting it out -- some may smash it, some catch and release, some use a spider "spray", some use preventative measures .....I mean we can go all day talking about how one gets rid of a spider. But the objective remains the same - get it out of our home.
So how does this relate to our thoughts???
Okay, so we all have thoughts (just like there are all kinds of spiders). Some of these thoughts we have are small, don't bother us, or are not something we worry or dwell on. Some of our thoughts are big, overwhelming, repetitive, and long-lasting. These kinds of thoughts frequently cause us distress; they lead us to over-thinking, excessive worry, emotion changes, and sometimes body responses (like heart racing, or sweating). Trying to get rid of these thoughts can be equally difficult; we may try and distract ourselves, or try to ignore them, but the thoughts remain.
So when you experience these kinds of thoughts, I wonder, how do you handle spiders? For the most part, spiders are relatively harmless (there are exceptions of course), but we don't want that "harmless spider" in our home. Our thoughts are just that -- thoughts -- and while our thoughts seem dangerous to us, they too are relatively harmless.