Sunday, April 10, 2011

Overactive Mind

Okay, in Sunday School this morning, our teacher got to talking about thinking quietly and the benefits of doing this. The major thing that stands out to me...even when there is no noise around, I can't think quietly. I have an "overactive" mind. Even in perfect silence, my mind doesn't slow down. I am always thinking of the next fire to put out, so I definately don't have time to slow down and think of long-term goals, or even enjoy the silence.

The sad part is...I don't know how to stop it. I have lived in survival mode all my life, so it is difficult for me to just live in the moment. Some people talk about the fight or flight response. For most people, this response kicks in in emergencies, however, I truly feel like I live in the perpetual state of "fight or flight." So, how do I overcome this? Well, Dale says that there are ways, so I decided to do some research. (Yay!)

Let's see if any of my research helps....

One method that I found for pulling the "emergency brake" on an overactive mind is called extreme focus. Basically, just after waking, focus on your breathing and only your breathing. Do not focus on your day and what's ahead. Focus on only your calm, slow breathing. This will help you get used to a slower mind. It will help start your day out slow instead of bolting directly into bed and to the next fire that needs to be put out.

Then, set up reminders throughout the day to stop and focus on just your breathing for a few minutes. If your mind is constantly overactive, though, your mind will wander quite often, like a candle flickering in the wind. But you can bring it back to focus.

Here are few signs that will help you know that you’re doing extreme focus right:
1) During intense spurts of concentration you’ll feel the need to ‘relax’ your mind from focusing so hard even after just a few seconds at a time.
2) You might actually feel energy causing chills up and down your body for the few seconds while initiating extreme focus.
3) After you finish even a short meditation you’ll notice the brain has slowed down and your mental space seems much clearer.

Most of the other techniques that I find center around breathing, this seemed to be the simplest and maybe the easiest to do without mentally chanting to yourself (which I think would lead to different types of issues later). I want to say that I will start implimenting this right away, but I know me. I will say that I will start trying to implement this...occasionally...and if it is successful, then I am sure that I will want to do it more often. Right now, I am not sure if I have time to breathe, but here goes nothing.

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