Do you ever feel like your mind goes a million miles a minute and you just can’t make it stop? Ever feel like you’re on a runaway train, thoughts invade and they just won’t go away? Maybe the more you try to make them stop the faster they go, the more they seem so loud, so truthful.
A busy mind is often the product of a busy life. I know there are days where I spend most of the day thinking about all the things I have to do that day. In fact, I probably spend more time thinking about all the things I have to do, than actually doing them. But a busy mind can also be the product of a bad habit.
There are numerous ways to combat intense thoughts. Sometimes, the simplest one is all that’s needed – you simply need to press pause. Of course, easier said than done but there are a few tools you can use to do so:
- Watch a tap drip. Seriously. Do it for 10 drops. Turn the tap on just enough that very slowly a bud forms and 5 seconds later, drop! Down it goes. Watch it form, watch the light reflect off the drip, look at the way the shape evolves. See if you can pick the exact moment it is about to leave the tap. (Keep a glass underneath to catch the drips so the water isn’t wasted.)
- Whenever you’re waiting, for anything – in a queue, traffic, on hold on the phone – spend the time focusing on your breath. In and out. Feel your lungs expand. Breathe so deep your belly expands. Feel the breath leave your nose. Is the air hot or cold? What sound does it make? Where else in your body can you feel it?
- Take 5 deep breaths before a meal. You may spend this time being grateful to the earth for providing your beautiful food, or perhaps just grateful that you have food at all.
- Look out the window. Every now and again stop what you’re doing and just watch the world go by.
5. If you spend a long time sitting, do a mini stretch. Stand up and gently fold over so your head is hanging. Bend your knees as much as you need to so that your chest touches your thighs. If you can’t, that’s okay, just bend and relax as much as is comfortable. Then stand up and take one wrist in the other then lean away from the wrist that is being held. So if you are holding your left wrist with your right hand, pull your left wrist over to your right so you feel a stretch along your side body. Hold for a few breaths then gently come to centre and repeat on the other side.
6. Say ‘pause’ when you notice your mind going a million miles an hour. Each time a thought comes, say ‘pause’ and let it disintegrate.
7. Sit outside and have a cup of tea. Leave books, phones, laptops and any other distraction inside. Just watch the world around you.
Meditation and mindfulness are well known techniques for quieting the mind; but they do not start with hours sitting in lotus position on the floor like a monk. Sometimes, the simplest way to be mindful is to just observe what is going on around you.
If a busy mind is getting in the way of a positive relationship with your self, your body or with food, then perhaps my one day workshop can help you. See more info here.