Do you find it hard to slow down or relax? Maybe you would describe yourself as a type ‘A’ person, an over- thinker or a Just Get On With It NOW! personality. Which is great most of the time! That drive and energy can be really useful for getting ‘stuff’ done. If that sounds like you, you might also find it hard to switch off. “I can’t meditate! My mind is constantly busy!” Thinking is the nature of the mind. Everyone’s mind is busy unless they’ve started working at slowing it down. Alarmingly, 80% of our thoughts are negative, and they’re generally the same old thoughts day in, day out. Re-hashing arguments, worrying about the future, judging people, getting worked up about an imaginary scenario, leaving us ‘worked up’ and a victim to the tensions of our emotions.
If you’d like to save your precious energy for now, today, the present, rather than trawling over the past or anticipating the future, try this simple form of quietening the mind. Set a timer for once an hour and when it goes off, notice what you were thinking about. Was is a past scenario, argument, concern about the future or a memory? Notice what you notice. Is there any emotional connection with the thought? Did you just get yourself worked up as a result of an argument happening inside your own head? We can terrorise ourselves with our own thoughts, sending us into fight or flight mode – agitation, anger, anxiety and ready for confrontation.
You are in control of your mind.
By starting to notice our thoughts in a non-judgemental way, we can break the cycle. You can slow down your mind chatter and change the topic of conversation you have with yourself.
Who would you be if you were more positive?
Who would you be if you had more energy for today?
Who would you be if you felt less stressed?
We are diamonds, taking shape. Start shining.
Here are some other tools:
· Surround yourself with people that make you feel good.
· Join a yoga class to learn how to slow your mind
· Yoga can teach you to deepen your breathing
· Reduce your caffeine intake
· Stop watching tv or films that bring on negative emotions
· Get outside - being in nature has been proven to be a valuable contributor in reducing stress
· Exercise with friends
· Incorporate ‘me time’ into your day