Mind less ness
Have you ever been distracted by your thoughts? Stuff that isn’t happening in the here and now, but you find a way of living it again and again in your head?
It may be something that has happened and you keep pressing the rewind button, for some reason wanting to rewind your mind to the situation, the memory, the past. It may be something that worries you, an empty moment in a conversation that you’re now filling with “make believe”... you are making yourself believe something that hasn’t occurred.
You are filling your mind with a “fantasy”. In doing so, you are taking up good time with a veiw of the past that may not be helpful. You find yourself creating a scenario from your interpretation of what may have been a mini moment, possibly a split second. In that second you felt lost, confused, hurt, alone, rejected, or unheard. In reality, someone may have breathed a little longer than usual. You notice a slight change and then bam! You’ve filled it with stuff. Your mind is filled.
Mindfulness has become a new calm, focusing on the here and now. I agree it’s helpful in some situations. For some, it is a perfect solution to forgetting about stress and focusing on breathing. The term mind full-ness made me think we have to work hard on filling our minds with the present moment. The mind needs to be full.
This leads me to think about the opposite - 'mind less-ness' - the notion that we can mind less and live more. If our mind is empty, we have space. If we become less mind full, we have space. If we mind less, then we won’t get stressed.
The reliving of the nano moment that happened yesterday or yesteryear, that we are replaying in our mind, that becomes less. This is because we mind less about those moments. We discover that we can have less in our mind by learning not to mind.
When I hear people sharing their over-thinking, I wonder why we decide to fill the gap, rather than mind the gap. Don’t step into the gap and start filling it. The gap is a gap, no interpretation required. If we believe that others would tell us if there is a problem, then unless we hear that from them, why do we need to create the fantasy in our head?
Just take a moment to think about a time in the last day or two when something has felt not right. You’ve walked away starting your own internal guessing game.
”Was it me? Was it something I said? Did I forget to do something? Don’t they like me? Are they cross with me?”
For any of those beginnings, set an alarm for 60 seconds, one whole minute, and start one of those beginnings in your head. As you start unravelling one thought, notice the scenarios and beliefs you are replaying and those you are giving birth to.
At the end of the minute, notice how many options of what was wrong came into your mind. What negative thoughts, 'not ok' feelings you had. Now repeat the minute and start the thinking with
”Once upon a time a person...”, because that is what you are doing. You are creating a story. Not the truth, a fantasy. You are filling your mind with something that has no proof. The person you are worrying about, they have given you no facts. You have no hard evidence to back up your fantasy thinking. A judge would throw your story out in the blink of an eye.
You have the power to stop the process, to notice the feeling, to let it go. To blink away the fantasy. To fan it away before you can even get to start the fantasy.
You can choose to mind less and live more.
Do it, it’s yours for the taking.
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About Mandy Hunt
I am a experienced therapist who loves working with individuals who want to change.
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