Hey everybody, today I am going to touch on something we have all had from time to time. That is problems with our thoughts!
In this article I found that the earliest evidence for meditation goes back to around 2980 B.C
This means that that for roughly 5000 years, people have been looking for ways to slow down their thinking. As well as get in touch with their bodies in the moment.
Now I imagine that human beings have been looking for ways to slow down much earlier in history. But we will just leave that as speculation.
That tells me that for at least that long, thinking has been a tricky subject for the average human.
Now with my history of mental illness and addiction, I understand the torturous nature of thinking well.
But meditation was not born for those whose thoughts are susceptible to insanity. It is a tool that is helpful to human beings of all brain types.
I realize that meditation is a word that can turn some folks off. I am not really talking about meditation here, but for what meditation does that has helped people find respite in the act for so long.
For me, what it does is simply calm my brain down. In this article, it says that “there is a decrease in beta waves which is a sign that the brains cortex is not processing information as much as usual.”
I don’t know about you but the processing of information can be a painful routine to be in. Especially the times where it seems like the process has gotten out of control.
Thinking becomes such a habitual thing, so much so that quite often I don’t even realize that I am doing it. In these times my thoughts can take me on a ride that I may not like. But of course that depends on the emotions I am feeling!
I have no problem being taken on a ride of thoughts that are laced with happy feelings. That can be pure bliss. Though when the thoughts are laced with worry, shame, guilt, anger, or regret, that can be a pretty horrible ride.
The problem comes when we get caught on this ride and don’t realize we are on it! In the recovery community that saved my life, we call this OBSESSION.
Obsession is THE LIE, it is the FANTASY. It is the cause of the tremendous problems I had throughout my life.
Now don’t worry, I am not claiming victimhood over Obsession. Though I can claim some ignorance of a problem I had within my own head.
Thoughts can pretty easily be gotten back on track!
By back on track, I mean that we can take a little control over them. And by this I mean we can slow them down, so they aren’t as much of the speeding train they may feel like sometimes.
Like I said, I don’t claim victimhood over my thoughts, or my emotions for that matter.
You may be wondering how? How can we go from a sometimes violent, obsessive, internal temper tantrum, back to stable mental and emotional states?
Here are the steps to get back into our right minds.
- First, we have to catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.
- Second, we need to let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with this thought pattern.
- Third, we have to actively make an effort to slow down our thoughts, and surrender to the moment.
Catch ourselves obsessing on a thought.
For me, a thought tends to get of control when I have left the energy in the thought unused.
When I procrastinate getting the taxes done or work paperwork done, the approaching deadlines continue to excite the thought. When I am either unwilling to take care of it, or not understanding how, the unused energy continues to create more stress. Since the energy wasn’t used, it stays inside of me, sending my brain for a loop.
Another problem is that I can end up defending my obsessive thoughts. Maybe I believe I need to be freaking out, or maybe I blame someone else for the way I am feeling. These can both be dangerous defense mechanisms for obsession, so watch out!
But the good news is that if you realize you are stuck this crappy obsessive process, then at least you aren’t completely enveloped in it. This means that there is room to take control and get out of it!
Let ourselves know that we no longer want to stress ourselves out with the thought pattern.
Feel like crap because your brain is spinning of control? Willing to admit that you have some say in stopping the thought from terrorizing you?
Great! Now I am here to say that you are completely capable of working yourself through it.
I know that it is painful and probably overwhelming. And there may be disappointment, letting go, and grieving to be done. But there is a light out of this stressful thought process!
There is something to the power of positive thinking, a sort of acting as if I have the power to change something. Even if I am not necessarily believing I can! So i welcome you to believe that you can quit stressing yourself out with your thoughts.
If we want out, we need to admit it to at least ourselves! And even better if admitted to another person that can and will help stop the obsessive thinking.
It is only when we admit we want out and a better way to think, will another pathway begin presenting itself!
Actively make an effort to surrender our obsessive thoughts.
To me the main message I can give is that there are all sorts of times all throughout the day when we can breathe a little bit and take our minds off of our routines and problems! We don’t necessarily need to set aside 20 minutes to meditate, although that would be extremely helpful.
Deciding not to think for a little bit and allowing the energy inside of us to settle is an act of surrender. Some may feel surrender is a act of weakness, but this is obsession just trying to control the show!
Through surrendering my thoughts to the moment I can get my mind back into the moment.
Even if i will be driving in my car all day long. I can turn off the radio, and do some relaxed breathing! If by some craziness there is not one single moment in the day to sit down, I can still watch my breathing and be mindful while taking care of my daily business.
Don’t believe the lie that says surrendering to the moment just isn’t possible. And no this will not ensure we are taken advantage of, or miss important opportunities! This is just the fight or flight response talking, which is fear.
It is good to believe the fear when actual danger is present. But for the majority of people reading this most moments are not that dangerous..
So if you are caught in obsession or just thinking too many fearful thoughts, I welcome you to breathe and just slow down a bit. If you are obsessing, the thoughts will not slow immediately. It may take up to 20 minutes for the fight or flight storm to pass. But once it has, you will be happy that you surrendered and gave the storm a chance to move on!
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