Do your thoughts race constantly? Do you have a hard time quieting your brain? Do you sometimes have a hard time focusing on the subject at hand?
You might be ADD, but you also may have let your mind get out of control.
My little schnauzer-poodle pup is the same way. He will literally run in circles on the leash or chase his tail all day, probably like many of our brains. If you think about it, your brain in that state is probably as productive.
When I ask Romeo to sit or stay, he can actually do it. He can’t do it for long, but experience tells me that his ability to do so will grow with practice.
Just think what your brain can do if you practice your self-discipline. You’re not even a dog.
If you’ve gotten this far in this blog, you probably sense that your racing brain is a problem. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard to relax. It’s hard to enjoy yourself. That’s because when you’re wrapped up in your thoughts, you can’t feel your emotions. You’re either in your head, or you’re in your heart. The two can communicate, but you tend to focus only on one or the other.
By focusing on your thoughts, you may be able to ignore the sadness, despair, resentment or fear that you feel. But you are also ignoring the sense of peace, inspiration, love and joy that you feel.
Furthermore, the thoughts in our head are usually not very helpful or constructive. Usually that voice is full of must and should statements, or statements of judgment and negativity, all of which generally create unhappiness. That unhappiness then reinforces our desire to stay in our heads and out of our hearts. That’s an awful downward, yukky spiral.
Reverse the spiral. Go up! Yes, you may open yourself to sadness or anger, but it’s better than that emotional purgatory where your mind is trapping you. Here are a few ideas for shutting down that annoying brain:
- Lose yourself in something you love to do – You know what that is. Go do it.
- Do yoga – Whether you love it or not, yoga teaches one to be mindful and present with one’s body.
- Meditate – Yada yada yada, I know you hate this, but do it anyway. Shirzad Chamine, author of Positive Intelligence advocates that we meditate 100 times per day in 10 second intervals. If you can’t sit for an hour, be mindful for 10 seconds at a time. Even Romeo can do that.
- Be mindful – You don’t have to meditate to just be mindful with your task. Next time you take a walk (or any other activity that doesn’t require your concentration), focus on one of your senses at a time for as long as you can manage.
- Brain dump – Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests that we write without thinking for 3 minutes per day. She says it’s the equivalent of the brain dump and helps to empty the brain and creates space for thought and inspiration.
- Connect with something greater than yourself – Pray. Commune with nature. Play with a baby. Savor the love you feel for your family. Do whatever it is that makes you feel connected.
If you commit to a practice of accessing your spirit/emotions/body rather than your mind, you may find a more peaceful, centered, and effective you. What do you have to lose? Except your mind?