You can only focus on one thing at a time.
You have this thing called AWARENESS. It’s the part of your brain that you use to focus on things, to pay attention to things. You may see something in the corner of your eye, but you may not be FOCUSING on it. You have a mental Focus that’s like a lighthouse spotlight. It can only shine on one thing at a time. And your feelings often come from what you are focusing on.
Remember the horror movie? Well here’s the cool thing about your AWARENESS. If you are not paying attention to the horror movie, then you won’t feel scared. Even if the horror movie is scary, you won’t have horror-movie emotions if you’re not paying attention to it. Think about it. The Notebook may be playing on the TV, but if I’m on my Kindle checking Facebook, I won’t be crying or emotionally affected by The Notebook.
So we can use MINDFULNESS skills to help train our brain, so that it pays attention to what we WANT it to pay attention to. We can keep our AWARENESS from focusing on the horror movie in our heads. We can also use DISTRACT skills to (you guessed it) distract ourselves from watching the horror movie. It’s a very doable thing.