As those of us fraught with anxiety most days tend to do, I have recently been plagued by intrusive thoughts regarding situations involving the behavior of others.
Then I read a version of this:
Frankly it makes me miserable.
So when I saw the quote it immediately brought to mind the neon sign "NO VACANCY."
For me it means "There is No Vacancy here. Aggravating thoughts - go away." I used it as a mantra last weekend, reminding myself that there is no vacancy in my head for this situation and by Monday, I felt much better not only about the situation that was plaguing me, but pretty much about everything. Preventing myself from dwelling on intrusive thoughts opened my mind to other more pleasant things and allowed me to fucking breathe.
The really crazy thing is that yesterday I had to deal with the person involved in the situation and I found myself able to make the day a pleasant experience. Perhaps whatever had been bothering them or their own anxiety had dissipated enough that they no longer felt animosity toward me also so nothing was said or done to aggravate the rift that had developed. I also realistically considered that I only needed to spend 4 hours with them, I can surely be civil during that small amount of time, something I rarely considered while I otherwise spent probably countless hours trying to process how I would deal with them when I again had no choice but to do so.
It's difficult to remember whole quotes, so if the quote above resonates, this condensed idea might be helpful - by all means try it.
I find the whole idea of "Think positive thoughts and you will be positive," a crock of bullshit. Anxiety just makes me respond with, "Why can't I think more positive?!" I can't automatically make my intrusive thoughts more positive, I need a signpost that plants itself and over-writes the thoughts as a whole. "No Vacancy" did that for me. It helped me dilute the anxiety that the situation had caused. Less anxiety helped me be more positive.