It’s not helpful to sit with our worries all the time but it’s also not realistic to think I can completely stop thinking specific thoughts. A lot of people will sit in bed and worry about the next day or replay all of their mistakes from the past. This keeps us from sleeping, which causes more moodiness and irritability. Instead, we can visualize containing our thoughts so we can think or talk about them at a specific time. Container Visualizations can be helpful for these situations. Give it a try and see what you think!
Imagine a container to hold unfinished business and stuff that is not useful to you right now. Examples could be a box, trunk, file cabinet, trash can. Imagine just sweeping all that unfinished business right into your container. Imagine shutting it and setting it aside for now. You can send it to the bottom of the ocean or outer space if you want. Sometimes it helps to write these thoughts down during a set time and then put the notes away.
Imagine you are in a library. Each thought and memory you have is like taking a book off the shelf and opening to a particular place in the book. Over time, you may have several open books spread over a library table. Visualize yourself closing each book and placing it back on the bookshelf until the table is clear. You can always return to the thought or book when needed but you don’t need to have all of the books or thoughts left open.
Similar to the library visualization, imagine each thought or memory is an internet browser tab. We often have a long list of browser tabs open and it can feel overwhelming. Visualize yourself closing each browser tab. Questions to ask yourself: Can I do anything about this right now? Is holding onto this worry or thought serving me in this moment? Is there harm in setting this thought down and returning to it later when I am able to do something about it?