Saturday, September 9, 2017

Calming your Mind

Our minds are crazy powerful.  We can talk ourselves in to and out of most anything just by thinking - and overthinking.  We can cause aches and pains within our bodies just by believing they are there.  We can become the best conspiracy theorists that the FBI seeks us out for classified information!  Not really, but we aren't far off when we allow our minds to stay stuck on a destructive thought and tear into it layer by layer.
I am the worst - or the best - at working myself up over a destructive thought.  If I am not careful, I can turn a thought, a fear really, into the truest reality.  Sometimes before I realize it, I am working out a solution or finding an area to run to in order to fix or escape my faux reality.
I struggled with this for a great while and still, at times, find myself allowing my mind to take charge.  I'm betting you can relate.  If we are honest people, we can admit that we all struggle from time to time with worry, doubt, fears, and plain ol' negative thinking.
I used to be ashamed and embarrassed that my mind traveled down long, dark paths that led nowhere but despair.  I did not discuss it with anyone because I was certain I was the only one who succumbed to such crazy making.
As I became older, I began to talk about my dark journeys and research ways to combat the annoying and destructive thoughts.  I soon realized I was not alone and, in fact, many people are plagued with crazy making thinking.
I am far from perfect and still, from time to time, struggle.  However, I have come a long way and have discovered ways to help myself and others.
  • Be mindful of what you are focused on.  Recognize what you are thinking about.  YOU are in control of what you allow your mind to linger on.
  • When a negative, fearful, or worried thought has taken up residency in your sweet head, tell yourself no.  A dear friend of mine told me she doesn't worry until it is time to worry.  Meaning, she doesn't allow herself to conjure up thoughts and focus on them when they aren't even realities.
  • Replace the destructive thought with a truth.  Turn your focus towards something you know to be true.  This takes effort and will require you to be proactive.  Don't allow yourself to become discouraged when you feel like this is all you do.  Anything and everything worthwhile takes time and effort.  One step forward is just that - one step forward.  Just because we aren't Olympic sprinters doesn't mean we aren't seeing success.  [tweetthis]Success comes in the little daily actions, not the big over the top achievements. Stay encouraged and keep on keeping on.[/tweetthis]
  • Find things that bring you joy and allow yourself to engage in them on a daily basis.  Do you thrill at the thought of reading a book?  Going on a run?  Relaxing with a glass of wine?  Laughing at internet jokes? Do what thrills your heart often.
  • Exercise is wonderful for pushing out the ugly and escorting in the beautiful.  When we exercise, our brains release chemicals that make us feel good.  Even if you don't feel like it, do it anyway.  Once you have completed your allotted exercise time, you will feel better and you will have a success under your belt.  Do what exercises you enjoy doing.  Remember, it is not a compare and keep up event.  Just because Sally Jo enjoys something, doesn't mean you have to.
  • Meditate.  There are many forms and ways to meditate.  Again, do what works best for you.  I find that my favorite way to meditate is to listen to quiet classical music and take slow, deep breaths.  I focus on my breathing only.  When a thought comes into my mind, I push it aside and return my thoughts to my breaths.
  • Find something or someone that makes you laugh.  Laughter relaxes our bodies and releases chemicals that make us feel good.
  • Find breathing exercises that work for you.  This is different than meditation.  For meditation, you want to be alone in a very quiet place.  You can do breathing exercises anywhere.  If I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I will take 7 long and deep breaths.  Another great breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 by Dr. Weil.  It will relax you instantly!  You can find it by clicking here.
  • Talk to someone you trust and will understand and offer support.  Many times, talking helps our minds release our fears and we feel better.
Overcoming our thoughts takes time and effort, but the results are definitely worth it.  This is not something that you combat and then never have to battle again.  In truth, we all will fight off hindering thoughts from time to time.  Recognizing destructive thoughts and having the tools to overpower them is the key to winning against them.  We have all heard the saying, "Practice makes perfect".  We will never be perfect, but practicing mind control and taking charge of your thoughts will make for a more perfect life.
If you would like to set up a FREE session, reply in the comments or send me an email.  I would love to help you overcome your thoughts and empower you towards a healthier you.
With love-