I’ve been reading a lot of books about mind control lately. Just kidding!
What I have been reading are books on our thoughts and the best ways to have them working for us instead of against us.
In the book ‘The Confidence Gap’, Dr Russ Harris talks about techniques to unhook ourselves from our thoughts and how to tune out the negative voice in our heads he calls – “Radio Triple F – Fears, Flaws and Failure”.
While we are on the topic of negative thoughts, Dr Russ Harris suggests we should give up on the idea of not having any negative thoughts at all. We’re human, we all have them.
It’s how we deal with those thoughts that matters.
After doing a stock take of my own thought patterns I came across a startling finding.
While I have gotten good at controlling and processing my thoughts (both negative and positive) there is one particular time of day where I go totally off the rails.
For me it’s mornings.
For some reason when I get up in the morning, I let my mind wander. Unfortunately, it’s not wandering around picking up brilliant creative ideas for blog posts or planning my next fabulous overseas holiday.
It’s worrying, it’s running old hurts over and over, it’s playing out fantasy conversations with people in my life that I am having trouble with, it’s being judgmental about people, it’s even being kind of mean.
It’s basically thinking a whole bunch of crap. Not a great way to start your day!
When I realized recently that I had gotten into this unhealthy thinking pattern it came as a bit of a shock because I don’t think many of these thoughts at any other time and if I do I whip them into shape quick smart and get myself back on track.
The good news is that I am now aware of my behavior.
Awareness, mindfulness, and practice are the keys to changing my toxic morning routine.
I suspect the reason my mind wanders the most in the mornings is because so much of what we do in the morning is a habit. We take a shower, brush our teeth, get dressed etc. We often do it without thinking – like we are on autopilot. Hence my mind going on its little free for all.
Every time I find my mind drifting I need to bring it back to the present moment.
When I am in the shower I need to focus on taking a shower – the heat of the water, the way it feels on my skin, the sensations of my muscles etc. I need to focus on what I am doing at the time.
Of course, I could always sing in the shower, that will work too but it will probably scare the neighbors and the cat!
Focusing on the day ahead is also productive.
Picking my top 3 tasks for the day and working through how I am going to achieve them is much healthier than starting my day with a bunch of rubbish thoughts.
When do you let your mind wander?
Is it when you are exercising, in the shower, in the car on the way to work, in the evenings when you are trying to go to sleep (this one is extremely common) or even perhaps while you are at work?
Whenever your bewitching hour is, take note and take action to ensure this time is productive and healthy instead of toxic.
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