How exactly it came about, I don’t know, but both during and after my burnout, I started to suffer from self-pity. I began to see myself as a victim, which caused me to develop thoughts of dissatisfaction.
These thoughts (unconsciously) caused a lot of misery. In addition to a negative view of me and my environment, I began to develop distrust. Especially my immediate environment indicated that I was changing. From a cheerful, friendly man to a nasty whiner.
I started to develop if, what and why thoughts.
I’ll explain that briefly below.
The if thoughts.
The if thoughts are thoughts where you would do something else. For example, you are thinking: – if I were the team leader then… if I were Putin then….if I were Ajax’s coach then…if I had to make that decision then….
There is reproach in these as thoughts.
The had thoughts
The had thoughts were mainly related to the past. If only I had done a study, I couldn’t have done it differently, if only I had persevered, if only I had, etc……
There is regret in the had thoughts.
The why thoughts
In the why thoughts there are problems that happen to you. Thoughts like why this happens to me, why am I so unlucky, why do I have a burnout, why does my car break down, why do I eat so many fries …
In the why thoughts is victimization.
These kinds of thoughts are annoying, do not contribute to cheerfulness, cost a lot of energy and deliver nothing at all.
They can turn you into a whiner….Time to tackle this asap.
That I was turning into a whiner, I didn’t quite realize that. It happened gradually and unconsciously. Often, I had these thoughts while showering or just before bed. But I wasn’t really aware of it. It went without saying.
I wanted to stop this. Together with my environment, I set to work to reverse that. I started focusing on three specific topics, namely:
1) the unconscious
3) the power supply
I will briefly elaborate on these three topics below.
As a first step, I started observing my unconscious thoughts. With some regularity I deliberately sat down to write off my thoughts. To be able to see my thoughts on paper, so that I became more aware of the unconscious character.
In the second instance, I started looking at what the deeper layer of this thought was. I encountered dissatisfaction. Apparently, I was dissatisfied with my situation. After all, the if, what and why thoughts, have the character of dissatisfaction in them.
Third and last, I wanted to get a picture of the power supply. As a whiner, I had people around me who liked that too. People who whine and whine a lot.
I also watched a lot of news and was active on social media (a lot of gossip and nagging groups).
Now that I could look at this from a distance, I had these work areas that had to be changed and I started working on that.
My idea was to turn into someone who, right now, is satisfied with what he has.
I did 3 things that helped.
1) From subconsciously nagging to consciously appreciating what I have.
After dinner I consciously started to reflect on what I have, and I started to prove the positive things in my life. A nice wife, three beautiful children, a nice job, health, friends and family. And that I can be happy with that.
And that worked very well.
2) The: if, what and why thoughts turn positive.
I tried to see the positive side of each of these thoughts. That worked fine with the if and what thought.
The if thoughts.
I replaced the thoughts with: how nice. I thought: how nice that I am not a team leader, how nice that etc.. Here I got a sense of relief.
The had thoughts
I replaced the had thoughts with: how good that I didn’t do that. Because that gives me more time, I have come to appreciate other things, etc. Here I got a feeling that I had made the right decision.
**However, with the why thoughts, this reversal was disappointing.
The why thoughts
The why thoughts are often unsolvable. If I want to change it, that’s just not possible. So, I might as well not think about it anymore. I started blocking these thoughts and not allowing them into my head.
3) Avoid and replace the feeds.
The avoidance consisted mainly of cleaning up my contacts. I started avoiding people who feed me, including on social media.
I replaced it by reducing my news consumption. I replaced these moments by working in the garden, going for a walk with my wife and writing this site.
All these actions led to a conscious, positive outlook on life.
On paper, this all seems very easy. Still, it took me a lot of effort to stop the dissatisfaction and self-pity. It almost felt like I was addicted and had to rehab. Stubbornly, the thoughts kept coming up.
But by persevering. With three steps forward and two steps back, I found myself in a different atmosphere in the weeks that followed. Despite the fact that nothing substantive changed except the way I look at it.
The growth of whining to satisfaction.
The pitfall of self-pity is still present. But I notice, by taking the steps I have described, that things are getting better and better.
I trust that in the future I will completely get rid of this addiction. And if I relapse, I have the tools to fix that.
I didn’t realize this was going on at all and I thought it was sad about it. Fortunately, I was able to reverse this.
I feel happier, happier and I am more satisfied.