Every now and then I go through periods where I literally can not quieten my mind.
No matter how hard I try to reign it in, it just seems to rattle endlessly at a million miles an hour about the most ridiculous things.
Sometimes it is busy feeding me fear-based stories. Other times it sends me on a trail of useless thinking in to the past or future on some topic that is completely irrelevant to where I am now.
I know I am not alone in my struggle with crazy mind chatter, so today I want to share with you some of the ways I support myself when this happens.
1. Quit Trying To Stop The Thoughts
When most of us experience this crazy mind-racing state, our first reaction is to try and stop it and struggle with it. But, what you resist persist, right? The more you fight with these thoughts in your head and beat up on yourself for having them, the more you actually strengthen their presence. You end up feeding them with your energy!
So, first of all begin by just dropping the fight.
For this moment, can you just let those thoughts be?
This might seems like a strange practice, but you will notice the more you do it, the less you struggle. Sometimes I say to myself “I am aware I am thinking crazy thoughts right now, but that is ok” It is from this place of non-resistance that you are able to create a shift.
2. Do Not Believe Everything You Think
When we are caught in a mind-racing frenzy of thoughts we are usually in a space of completely believing these thoughts. We are buying in to the stories they are telling us. We get completely caught up in them and are having reactions as though they are real.
When our mind tells us something about ourselves or our life, we automatically believe it. Instead we must remember, that just because we think something, does not mean it is true.
An initial practice is to begin to affirm to yourself “I am not these thoughts” or “These thoughts are not the truth”.
When we do this, we bring an element of consciousness to this pattern and begin to break it’s hold on us.
3. Become The Observer Of Your Thoughts
Creating space between ourselves and our thoughts allow us to become the observer of our thoughts, rather than being our thoughts. When we can notice what we are thinking and watch these thoughts as though we are observing them from a distance we create a profound new level of self awareness.
I like to see them as bubbles floating outside of me, rather than thoughts happening inside of me.
When I see these thoughts as separate to me, it helps me observe them and notice them with a feeling of detachment.
I can watch these thought bubbles floating around and if I don’t like what it is telling me I can let it go and allow it to float off in to the distance.
Practice becoming conscious and aware of what is going on in your mind, rather than having it run unconsciously on auto-pilot. This practice in itself puts you back in control of your mind, rather than it controlling you.
4. Drop The Judgement
You are likely judging yourself for thinking this way, which of course will only make it worse. This point is similar to what I mentioned in Step 1. When we label thoughts as bad or wrong we are more likely to resist them and this strengthens the discomfort we are experiencing.
Every thought is just a thought. It is just something that flashes through our mind.
But it is us that decides that thought is bad, that labels it as negative and makes a meaning out of it.
And many of us take it one step further by also judging ourselves and feeling bad about ourselves for thinking this way
Once again practice acceptance. You are doing nothing wrong and thinking this way does not mean you have gone backwards. Don’t let these silly little thoughts get in the way of you loving and accepting yourself.
5. Just Be
Now I am going to recommend a practice that you might find strange. But when I cannot quieten my mind I will lay on the floor and just stare at the ceiling. Yes, it may seem odd.
The reason I do ‘nothing’ is because it stops me trying to fix what is happening, and rather practice accepting it.
Often when we feel this way we will try to meditate, or journal or implement some other practice to make it go away. But when I am in this space, I honestly find it impossible to meditate!
But when I lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling, all I am doing is just being. Being just as I am, where I am, how I am. There is something calming and grounding about lying on the floor and I find as I just stare at the roof and allow my mind to keep chattering, things usually shift. As I keep my gaze focused on that one point, my minds naturally seems to settle. I find everything within me slows and the inner struggle fades away.
6. Ask for Guidance
Often when I am in this space, I literally speak out loud and ask for guidance (yes, sometimes I am that crazy lady that talks to the walls). Or, if you like to can simply write your question in your journal.
I choose open up and become willing to receive support by asking “how can I support myself with this?” or “please give me some guidance with this” and I wait for some form of answer to arise within me.
The answer does not always come right away, but it comes after time. I will often find an inspired idea or new feeling drops in, or I get lead to a book or get called to take a walk or do something else that is nourishing.
Rather than trying to get this answer, I wait for it to come to me, as then I know it will be my guidance leading me, rather than more mind chatter.
7. Bring Awareness To Your Inner Body
The term inner body is something I picked up from Eckart Tolle.
Basically, it is about bringing your attention inwards and becoming aware of the energy within your body. Even just having that intention to connect with your inner energy body, shifts something immediately. It changes your focus. It brings in a new awareness.
When I do this, I practice sensing the energy within my body. The energy that sits beneath my skin. I feel the energy on the palm of my hands, the souls of my feel or into my heart. When I place my attention there, I just feel it and sense it.
This practice bring us out of our minds and into connection with a deeper part of us. It softens us. It opens us.
It may initially take some practice for you to connect with this space, but when you do it provides an incredible amount of comfort as you can truly sense that you are so much more than your thoughts and your physical body.
8. “I Could See Peace Instead Of This”
It is important for us to recognise that these crazy thoughts that race through our mind stem from a place of fear. They feed us stories of not having enough, not doing enough and not being enough. They make feel limited, small, unloved and powerless. They are not our truth.
When I notice myself in this space, I practice the beautiful phrase from A Course in Miracles which says “I could see peace instead of this”. This phrase reminds me I have a choice.
When I say that to myself, I am not always able to grasp the feeling of peace or even connect with peaceful thoughts, but it definitely breaks the pattern.
It makes me question why on earth I am thinking this way, because if I really wanted to I could simple choose peace, and be done with it.
Do you experience crazy mind chatter? Which of these steps are you going to take on board to support you? Share with me in the comments below.