Caught up in the mind

Caught up in the mind

It feels as the train of thoughts cannot be stopped. You need to do this right now! You catch your mind drifting away to your future problems. You know it’s better to let go but it is too hard. How many times have you caught your mind wondering away, have you been staring to the house across the street? The mind is trained this way. Our relentless educational system shapes it in an intellectual mastermind. An occasional daydream is alright but what if it is relentless? How does it feel, how can you recognise it, and what are possible solutions?

Lets start with the feeling. I think almost all of us can recognise at least a few of these aspects. You might feel light headed and tired as if you lost touch with the physical world around. Maybe the feeling is more present in your stomach, like a pressure or some unease in this area. Perhaps you feel very anxious, restless, nervous and you have a hard time sitting still. You look at your fingers and see that the nails are bitten and you cannot remember when you did it. You look at your plate and are surprised it is empty. You constantly unlock your phone to see if something has changed; if you received new messages or emails. You mindlessly scroll on Instagram, Facebook or other social media. You attach yourself to watching video after video on YouTube. You think of what to eat next while you eating. These feelings and behaviour is probably only a small part of the possibilities but I think you get the point😉.

In my opinion there are two ways to deal with such a situation. One, to relax and sit down. Two, action action action! Lets start with coming to ease. When I feel very restless it is difficult to sit still and be quiet. I need to gently force myself to lay down or sit on a meditation cushion. What I can tell you is that when I am able to do this, lay down with eyes closed, sit in meditation for half an hour, I reap the benefits in a major way. During this time I loosely keep my attention in the present moment. Why loosely, because the mind is often so agitated that its stream of thoughts are bouncing around as a monkey🐒. I allow myself to see all these thoughts and occasionally, gently, dip into the present moment. Key is to do this without judgement. After the session I feel rested, focused, balanced, and ready to start something new.

Maybe the second option of getting into action sounds counter intuitive. What I discovered is that some cases it is better to sit still and go inward. Sometimes though, the mind has specific thoughts of the near future. What to do with grocery shopping, what to buy as a present, what to clean or cook. These are mer obstacles that keep the mind busy but are actually not that important. Most of the time it is accompanied with a lazy tired feeling. What is basically happening is that your thoughts are draining your energy. What I found helpful in these situations is to come back to the present moment and then act. Do the thing that is constantly in your head. This creates free space. Another example is to get moving, to do sports, to do yoga. Action oriented to clear up the mind and in essence reconnect with your body.

These ‘methods’ are merely my own observations. Try to find how this process works for you. I know from experience that it is hard, probably a practise for life, but the benefits are tremendous. With the Corona measures in full swing it’s a good opportunity to practise😉.

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