Our thoughts run our lives. Understanding those thoughts
is a great way to change things in your life.

There are times that my thoughts have been overwhelming. When stress is high or I am tired or triggered by an incident, my brain can go into overdrive.

These thoughts usually do not serve me.

Instead of believing them, I take time to figure out where they are coming from. I do this by dumping all my thoughts on a piece of paper.

Here is a recent example from my life.

I live on main street in a small Appalachian town. I have been here almost 20 years.

Over the last few years, the people speeding on my street has increased. The same people are speeding down the street on a regular basis. My neighbors and I can almost set a clock to the speeders.

We have decided it is time for this to change.

We spoke to the police and the town manager. They seemed empathetic. But nothing has changed since we first complained in May. I find this very frustrating.

As I sit in my living room in the front of the house-closest to Main street-drinking my coffee each morning, the people keep racing up and down the street.

There are days that this makes me crazy.

I understand not always paying attention when you drive, maybe missing the fact that the speed it 20mph, our minds can wander. These speeders are doing it daily not just every once in a while. They know the speed and they don’t care. And nobody is holding them to the posted speed limits.

To me there is a great solution, patrol the street and give them tickets. It isn’t happening.

Right now main street is a race track and nobody is enforcing the 20mph speed limit

This is where my thought dumps come in.

On those days that the speeding makes me crazy, instead of standing in the street yelling at the speeders-I haven’t done that yet but want to. I take a moment and start writing a thought dump. I write down every thought I have about the speeders, the town manager, the police and then it goes further. The other thoughts are not about the speeders they are about the injustice in the world, the work I didn’t finish yesterday, the anxiety I have about the pandemic, the racial issues in America. As I write more, my thoughts go all the way back to childhood and the middle child syndrome of not being heard or regarded.

The thought dump revealed that my thoughts are not just about the speeders. I begin to see the patterns in my thoughts.

The thought dumps are not only to calm your brain they are to help you figure out why you are upset. Once the issues are revealed I can comfort myself and deal with them.

When I am calm, I can work through all the thoughts. And I can rationally come up with solutions.

I know that the speeding issue will take time to resolve. The town is working toward a solution. At least the police cars are going the speed limit now. It’s a start.