How often do you find your mind is full of times, places, lists of things to do or simply full of worry, pain or anxiety. I often find my mind is so full of pain and worry that it can be hard to shut off, sleep or function normally. Mindfulness might just be one way of helping with some of those feelings.
Being mindful means:
“Paying attention in a particular way, On purpose In the present moment”
- Jon Kabat-Zinn
Being mindful just means giving something your full attention and trying not to let your mind wander off onto other things. There are a few benefits to being mindful like;
- an increased sense of calm and peace
- reduction in physical tension and emotional stress
- feeling more connected and enjoying what you are doing, rather than worrying about what you can't.
Here are 3 ideas for being mindful that may just help you relax and be more mindful;
1. Take an everyday day task like brushing your hair, or having a shower and focus your attention on that experience. Try to notice all the sensations like smells, body movements, sights and sounds etc. If you find your mind wandering just notice it happening and bring yourself back to the task at hand.
2. Hobbies, this might sound odd but reading, colouring in, sewing, drawing, cooking. In fact anything were you are able on focus the task at hand might allow you distract your brain from all those thought and feelings and give you some peace of mind. Try to be in the moment concentrate on what your doing if your reading imagine what is happening in the book is true, see it, feel it try to immerse your self in the book. Again if you find your mind wandering just notice it and bring it back to the task at hand.
3. Mindful Breathing – Just take some time, get as comfortable as you can and focus on your breathing. Focus on taking a deep breath in, then letting the breath out as slowly as possible before allowing your lungs to refill by themselves. Notice the sensation of our lungs emptying, notice them refilling, notice you rib cage rising and falling and how your shoulders will rise and fall. Allow your thought to drift away like passing cars, expanding your awareness to what you can hear and smell around you. If your mind wanders just bring it back again.
Mindfulness takes practice so don't worry if you don't get it right away. It takes time, so you might try it everyday for 10 minutes. Simply remember to be in the moment if your out on a walk try emptying your mind of what's worrying you and simple notice the cars, people, smells and flowers you will be surprised by how much you miss when you do things in autopilot.
Written by 7 Cups Listener: peacefulwaves54
Over thinking is a natural part of life, even when we’re not aware of it we’re doing it. Thinking can be good, but overthinking can lead to negative things. If you find yourself overthinking (in a negative way), it’s time to change the process in your mind.
Here are 8 simple ways to do so.
1) Forgive yourself
If you know that you’re an overthinker, forgive yourself. Our brain is wired to make overthinking something natural. When someone is feeling negative, they are more likely to think negative things and to see connections between other bad events that happened in their lives. If this happens more frequently, the individual is more likely to engage in an overthinking pattern in the future.
Although the brain might be wired to make these associations, once you become aware of it, you can solve it.
2) Practice mindfulness
Overthinkers struggle with the ability to live in the present moment. They’re consumed by the failures of the past and they’re worried about the future, so the present moment doesn’t get the attention it deserves. One of the best things you can do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgement. Once the worrying thoughts are coming in, you can acknowledge them and then let them go and clear your space.
3) Spend time with people who don’t overthink
Your social environment plays a part in overthinking. Not just the people you hang out with, but also what you read, watch and listen to. Think about if there are any sources in your life that make you overthink and think about what sources have the opposite effect. Find ways to spend more time with people and sources that have a positive effect on your thinking.
4) Take action
When you’re in a situation where you need and want to act, but you’re trapped by fear, take the first step towards doing what you want. Constantly wishing or hoping doesn’t give you any relief, it keeps you stuck in that weel. But by taking a small step you get out of that treadmill that leads you nowhere and whether or not the first step is a misstep doesn’t matter. It will set things in motion and makes it easier to take other steps.
5) Do something that requires concentration
When you’re driving, walking or running, it’s easy to go onto autopilot and start re-visiting arguments. Playing an instrument, playing competitive sports or learning a language, anything that requires concentration can keep your mind from overthinking.
6) Interrupt the pattern
It helps to create a break in the pattern. Wear a rubber band and gently snap it when you notice you start overthinking. Or wear a ring or watch and switch it from one hand to another. The goal is to activate another part of the brain and to bring yourself back to reality.
7) Admit that you can’t control everything
You’re a human being, so you can’t control everything in life. Sometimes you will have to accept things go their own ways. Failure isn’t something terrible, it’s a good lesson that you can learn from. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out.
8) Put things into a big picture
It’s easy to fall in the trap of overthinking the minor things in daily life. If you start overthinking, ask yourself the question if it will matter in 5 years or even in 5 weeks. Widening the perspective by asking these questions could snap someone rapidly out of overthinking and help them to focus their time and their energy on things that really matter to them.
Written by 7 Cups Listener: Darcyy