Taming The Mean-Mind
It can be a wonderful time, getting lost in the mind, but on a bad day, it’s horrid.
When I’m down-in-the-dumps I have this awful habit. I look to my mind for answers but instead find it reaffirming my insecurities, yanking my hair, and stepping on my toes. If it were a friend, it’d be a crappy one. One that holds you back. Makes you feel shit. And stands in the doorway saying ‘No. You can’t.’, when opportunity strolls outside.
It can be one thing to become aware of this ‘friend’, but another to accept it for what it is (not so kind, but nevertheless there) and make the choice to not engage. There are a load of mindfulness practices out there, but what I want to share are some everyday, totally accessible ways to keep the mean-mind at bay. You don’t need to be a yogi or know how to meditate to get some peace! So, let’s look at a few escape tools…
- An ice cold shower.
You’re down, vulnerable, and naked. Then you dump cold water all over yourself. Why? To interrupt the mind. Shock you out of it. Pierce you into the present where you’re now intensely focused on the moment, wriggling like a salmon, and gasping for warmth. Make sense? Of course. And while you’re in there, give a mighty growl - but only if you’re a warrior.
- A hot drink.
Meditation is hard for a lot of us – silencing all that chitter chatter. We don’t, however, always have to be crossed legged with closed eyes to participate. The Hot Drink, (whilst comforting) is a tangible statement of time-out. A declaration of ‘I will not engage in my thoughts until the last drop has been drunk’. As well, it’s a place to sprint back to when you catch yourself wandering in the shadows. Think about how it tastes, feels, smells. Focus. Let all the other thoughts drift by. Nothing but you and your steamy friend, till the very last drop.
- Getting lost in books.
Unlike when we’re on a series binge, reading a book requires your full attention. If you wander off into thought, you’re not reading anymore. Put a book in front of your face and let your mind jump ship. Hacking its way through words rather than your confidence. The deeper you venture, the more distant the ‘friends’ voice becomes.
Oh, the ideas could be endless if we thought hard enough, but sometimes thinking is just not the answer. Pressing mute on our minds on a bad day can be the difference between laying in the gutter as life painfully drags by, and grabbing life by the reigns as you ride off with a legendary roar into the sunset. The beauty is you have the choice. So… What will you choose?