Busy mind? Read this.


You can’t control your thoughts
Or stop them
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise
They’re selling you an impossible dream
For a start, a lot of those thoughts are unconscious
You’re not even aware you’re having them
And the ones that do appear in your conscious mind have already happened
You can't change what's already happened.
The mistake a lot of us make is to try to argue with this reality - we try to resist thoughts we've already had.
On some level, we don't want them to be there, so we try to get rid of them by changing, controlling, or managing them - you name it.
But the irony is, the only way the mind can attempt to do this is by thinking some more!
To use the metaphor of a snow globe, it's like trying to calm the snowflakes inside by shaking UP the snow globe.
It has the opposite of the intended effect.
Is it any wonder your mind feels busier than the M4 on a Friday night?


Let's pause for a breather there.

So, how do you calm the snow globe of your mind?
The most important insight is to realise that if could leave it alone, your mind would settle down by itself. Your thoughts would naturally calm, the snowflakes would return to the bottom of the globe.
But when you're in the middle of a thought storm, it's not always easy to adopt this laissez-faire approach.
I get it.
So, the next simplest thing you can do is notice where your attention is.
At the moment, it's highly likely that your attention is in your head. It's fused with your thoughts.
You can get some space from your thinking by literally moving your attention into your body.
Ideally into the soles of your feet. Because, you know, that's the farthest away you can get from your head without leaving your body.
Just hang out in your feet. Take a few deep, slow belly breaths and feel your feet against the ground.
Slow down to the speed of your feet against ground.
Allow your busy mind to have some space for a moment.
Now bring your attention up and notice something you can see and hear in the environment around you.
Allow your attention to expand to the size of the real world going on outside your window.
Be present for this moment of your life. Notice how it's a much less constricted way to be.
From this more spacious frame of attention, you can begin to relate to your thoughts in a different way.
But that's a story for another day.
There's no 12-step programme in Overthinkers Anonymous. But there are six islands of sanctuary (or sanity!). Here, I've tried to give you a brief taste of the first one. As you make the hop from island to island, you'll get better at allowing your thoughts to settle and, from there, more space for joy and ease will flow into your life.

It's a journey that requires curiosity and some courage. But in my experience, it's the trip of a lifetime.