The 3 best tricks to stop your thought carousel


​It’s enough to drive you crazy. Again and again, everything in your head goes around in circles. The carousel of thoughts accompanies you when you fall asleep, hinders you when you sleep through the night, and is the first thing that comes back when you wake up.

“What is my future going to be like?”

“How could I ever get involved with this man?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“I never thought the man would be so evil. What will he think of tonight when he brings the child back to me?”

“The guardian ad litem is already on the father’s side. What do I do if she is in favor of imposing the alternating residency model on our 4-year-old Leni? What chance do I even have of averting this?”

“How will I ever be able to get through this time?”

“What am I going to do – my lawyer isn’t really good, I can’t switch now, can I?”

“Where am I going to get all the money to pay the bills that are coming up?”

“What’s going to happen to my child – how can I even protect her?”

What thought is it with you?

You can barely focus on your job during the day. Your boss is already looking annoyed, and your colleagues are now giving you a wide berth because you’re barely approachable, let alone able to join in the laughter.

You can guess – there’s even more trouble lurking around the corner.

And yet you feel paralyzed. You see the snake and squat there as if paralyzed, as if you were incapable of taking even one step forward.

Or you rather have the feeling that you are just functioning. Like a robot that is switched on with the alarm clock in the morning and only switched off again in the evening. Without time in between to sit down and listen to yourself.

Thought carousels are a big issue for us moms with toxic Ex partners.

Especially when we are in a crisis where we find ourselves helplessly exposed to the powers of others:

  • For example, the Ex and still his whims. Which he expresses clearly in various violent emails, at the handover of the child or in court.
  • The judge, who has no idea what kind of show the Ex is putting on.
  • The guardian ad litem of your child, who is a – what was he again? Mineralogist? – The child’s lawyer, but who is rather the second advocate for the father.
  • The city or municipality that is unable to provide affordable housing for you and the child.
  • The list seems endless.
  • You know so well that there must be a solution to your situation. But for the life of you, you can’t think of one. And even if you search feverishly for it.

And on it goes with the thought carousel.

How you can stop the thought carousel

My dear, one thing will have become clear to you by now – as long as you push the thoughts from one corner of your brain to the other, nothing happens. You will neither find a smart, intelligent solution nor will it calm you down.

Quite the opposite.

By constantly turning your thoughts around in circles, only one thing happens: You continue to roll out the neural pathways that do not bring you forward, but rather keep you in the toxic cycle.

Your focus remains constantly on the bad that is happening in your life right now.

And that focus gets a good workout: Hah, a tuck! Of course – that’s all we needed! A short, heated dialogue with a cashier – noted! The task you were supposed to do today – flawed. Check!

Your whole perception revolves around how bad things are for you right now.

Are you ready for an unpleasant truth? With all love: you are the only one who keeps the thought carousel going.

But because that’s the case, you also have the power to hit the stop button.

And that’s with these 3 tricks I’d like to offer you in this article:

Trick #1: The Brain Dump.

There is a reason why you are not doing well at the moment. Your soul sends you lots of signals, it fires up your consciousness: “Look! Do something!”

So consciously perceive what it wants to tell you. Enter into an intimate communication with it.

The best way to do this is by handwriting.

Take a timer and set it for 30 minutes. In these 30 minutes, just write down everything that is on your mind.

Pen on paper and go without stopping until the bell rings.

No crossing out, correcting, rewriting. No one else should ever have to read it. It’s not about explaining, about informing – it’s purely about listening to your thoughts, as confused as they may be at the moment. By writing them down, you become aware of them.

It may well be that you gain completely new insights and ideas. You write them down at the same time. Every fleeting thought that floats through your head – bang! Written down!

Braindumping is good when there is a lot of inner confusion and you can’t think clearly anymore. It is my personal emergency tool when something or someone throws me off track (happens even to the best coaches from time to time!).

By the way, writers know this writing down of thoughts under the term “writing morning pages” according to Julia Cameron and use it to dissolve creativity blockades.

Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

Subscribe now to my free weekly newsletter

To the newsletter >>>

Trick number 2: Keep a gratitude and success journal.

A must-do in my coaching sessions. Definitely non-negotiable. Call me too strict – here you go.

If you want to build a new, positive highway in your neural network, this is the asphalt you need to do it!

Starting now, once a day at a set time, write down three things you’re grateful for as well as three successes you can chalk up for yourself.

Direct your focus on what’s going on.

Because even in the biggest, most difficult life crisis, there are beautiful things, good situations and encouraging encounters that happen to you. You bet!

At the moment, however, your brain, which is trained to deal with stress and anger, cannot perceive these good situations because it has not yet been trained for them.

But that is changing now, because you are starting to make notes, for example:

  • The task assigned by the boss may be faulty, but you were still able to meet the deadline despite correction? Check!
  • The car had to go to the garage, but the bill turned out to be less than you had feared? Check!
  • The man at the traffic light next to you smiled at you? Check!
  • No mean things were said when you handed over your child? Check!
  • Your child learned a new joke in the kindergarten and you laughed out loud and heartily? Check!
  • Yes, even if it is still so small and you may only smile tiredly now. In the big crisis you also get closer to the light with baby steps.

Really get into the habit of a set ritual here. A specific time, every day. For me, it takes a maximum of 10 minutes in the morning before work.

Trick number 3: Set yourself a goal every week, which will bring you closer to strength.

On Mondays, think of one thing you want to pay attention to for the week that will be good for your self-esteem. For example:

  • This week I don’t want to be loud to my kids
  • This week I’m reading articles or a reference book or watching a YouTube video on a topic that will help me on the job.
  • This week I meet – in person or virtually or by phone – with a good, positive friend or acquaintance
  • This week, I watch only shows on TV that will make me happy and not drag me down. If there is nothing appropriate, the box stays off.
  • This week I won’t respond to any more beastly emails from the Ex.
  • Or you can see what idea from the braindump method above has made an appearance that you could implement this week.

Get a reminder app on your phone and then get daily (or even hourly) reminders to keep you on track.


Will these tricks help you solve all your current problems? No. At least not immediately.

On the other hand, will they help you stop the thought carousel? They sure will!

They also have the additional advantage that you experience yourself as a doer again.

You can’t change the others around you. Not the Ex. Not the judge. 

Only yourself.

You don’t have to change your personality, but “only” your perception. It should be clear that this won’t happen overnight – after all, you’ve been training the negative focus for years.

But you will be surprised how fast the positive effects will appear if you start and keep it up for a while.

Yes, there is work involved. But not heavy, physical work like clearing out your apartment (which is also good for you, no question), but soul work.

Not the worst thing, by the way. A nice side effect is that it also helps you get a grip on anxiety.

How do you see it? Have you worked with these tricks yet? I look forward to your comment below.

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?


Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

Subscribe now to my free weekly newsletter

To the newsletter >>>