Often times in my sessions as a therapist I hear people talk about racing thoughts, inability to focus, and obsessive or intrusive thoughts. As I browse through social media I often see videos on people struggling to sleep because of racing thoughts as well as many self help videos on organization of thoughts. Reflecting upon these two things I came across I thought of an art directive I often use with my clients of creating an image of your brain and what is going on inside of it. I first ask the client to draw an image of their brain then I ask them to fill the inside with words or images of what they have on their mind. I ask that they represent the ideas in terms of size such as say they think about work 40% of the time I’d ask they draw or write in work taking up 40% of their brain and so on until the brain is 100% filled with their various thoughts or worries. Next I ask them to create another brain, this time I ask them to fill in what they would like their thoughts to be and the percentage of how much they would like that thought to fill up in their head.
Here is an example I created to show what this could look like.
This is just an example, but the brain can be color coated, it can be written word as shown above or in images. After you are able to identify what thoughts you would like to have you can reflect on what you feel you’d like to lessen or get rid of from the first brain as well as what thoughts or part of your life you want to expand on or want to focus more on. Think about ways you can literally change your brain and thoughts. You may want to engage in thought stopping, you may want to think about how you can direct your thoughts energy and time into being more creative for example. Change your thoughts change your life. While being able to visualize this it is easier to see what areas you spend time focusing or worrying about as well as what you would like to focus on. Simply thinking about things can be very exhausting as well as unfocused. By being able to put them into an image and onto paper we can not only literally see our brain and thoughts, but can start to see the changes we would like to make in our own thought processes, where we want to focus our energy on and what we do not. I hope this idea will help you to sort, organize and understand your thoughts.
Create, educate, inspire.
Katrina Kurtz, MA., LCPC, ATR