Every cancer survivor has those days when the negative thoughts take over. Why not use visualization of video games to get rid of those self defeating ideas!

As a former counselor, I used a lot of cognitive therapy with my clients. We know that the brain cannot handle two thoughts at the same time, although they can occur very close together in milliseconds! But therapy works on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones immediately to help people gain self esteem and hope.

Let’s concentrate for a little bit on the negative thoughts – or brandishing them. We need to derail and destroy the bad before we replace with the good. I am a big believer in visualization. Picture a train suddenly going off the tracks. You do not want an accident in real life, but you do want them in your negative thoughts.

The next time your thoughts are going down a rabbit hole, get that train off the track and picture a new train chugging ahead happily with all the good things in life. I do not play video games or even know much about them. But I do know that kids and adults like to shoot and blow up pictures on the screen, just like we need to do when depressed.

It does work. Recently, I was over tired and attempting to take a nap. Without warning, just as I was ready to doze off, I started thinking about my beloved 15 year old service dog passing away. BAM! – I exploded that that thought with a blast. Without warning, I got caught in my negative cycle. My doctor told me I may be going out of remission – KA POW – I visualized fireworks blowing that idea right off the brain. I wondered what would happen if I got so sick I could not take care of myself. WHAM – A huge hammer came down and pounded that idea into the ground!

Gradually I relaxed, breathed deeply on my brand new mattress, and enjoyed the gentle breeze of my ceiling fame installed for me by two wonderful friends from church. I dozed off happily.

We all experience these negative thoughts that come from nowhere. And cancer patients have realistic fears. We counselors talk constantly about positive thoughts replacing the negative. However, I never was told how to destroy the negative ones before they take hold. So – my friends – work on hammering and whamming and exploding those intimidating fears until they are gone. It makes us feel better and hopefully brings us peace of mind, which is priceless!

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