As most of you are reading this right now you’re probably saying to yourself – of course, I think too much!
As it turns out, thinking less is not as easy as it seems. (We all know what happens when we try NOT to think about the pink elephant!). Sometimes these thoughts are productive, as they help us get things done in order to achieve a larger goal in life. Yet sometimes these thoughts can create worry, anxiety, and therefore tension within our mind and body. These thoughts are counterproductive.
Unfortunately, the mind doesn’t discriminate when it comes to thoughts and allows the presence of all the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Like any skill, it takes practice to become better at it. Thoughts will always come and go, this you do not have immediate control over. However, what you do have control over is your REACTION to these thoughts. With practice, you can re-learn how to respond to these challenging thoughts with a sense of calmness and mindfulness.
There are very simple and easy ways to get started if you haven’t already. Here’s what to do:
- Gently notice your next thought or feeling
- Gently label it a ‘thought’, or a ‘feeling’
- Give it FULL permission to be there, without any resistance or judgement (this is the challenging bit)
- Gently take a long, slow breath (while giving permission), and then continue doing whatever it is that you were doing at the time.
- Do you feel any different about the thought?
Noticing a slight shift in your attention or attitude in this moment is enough. Using this technique frequently will help you create space within your mind, and therefore between your thoughts.
Have a great week!