Keep Calm and Write It Down
Have you ever been in that place where your mind is racing and the things you need to attend to are on a perpetual loop playing in your head, and you just can’t get anything done? If so, you will have experienced frustration, irritation, anxiety, and despair all at the same time.
If, in addition, you’re up against time constraints, deadlines, or some kind of retribution if you don’t get past this problem, it’s possible to go into a form of mental shutdown.
If you don’t resolve the issue soon, it could have some serious consequences for your mental health.
The quickest and easiest route to alleviating the mental anguish of any challenge is:
● First, acknowledge it.
● Accept that it exists, right here, right now.
● Affirm that you will resolve it, just like you’ve resolved a zillion other issues in your life so far.
● Then, take action to resolve it.
The reason our head appears to be in this endless agitated loop is because we are allowing our subconscious mind to run our life.
Now, this works very well for most of us, most of the time, but every once in a while, it gets out of hand. This is one of those times.
Commit Pen to Paper
We can stop our subconscious mind in its tracks simply by applying conscious thought to the issue. We need to interrupt our subconscious mind for a moment and get it back on track - our track, not its own track.
This is best done by writing down everything that comes to mind.
Using pen and paper for this exercise rather than your laptop, phone, or tablet works the best. There is something almost magical to be gained by the act of physically writing
The very act of consciously thinking and committing pen to paper is enough to interrupt your subconscious mind.
So initially, write down what it is that you are experiencing, how you are feeling, what pain you feel you are going through over this issue.
Then detail the issue itself as best you can. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or even the order you write this stuff down. It doesn’t matter.
If you want to have a rant on paper about the circumstances you find yourself in, so much the better.
The more you get out on the paper the less you will have spinning around in your head. Keep going until you have as much on paper as you can reasonably expect to get out.
Then go for a walk. Thirty minutes at least.
While you are walking, you’ll have no need to allow your subconscious mind to revert back to its old self, because everything it was occupied with is now on several sheets of paper back on your desk. It’s gone.
Listen to the Birds and Bees
Be an observer of all that is going on around you on your walk:
● Listen and see how many distinctly different sounds you can hear: birds, bees, trains, planes, automobiles, and more.
● Look and see how many different forms of life you can see: people, dogs, cats, insects, and birds, all busily going about their day in their own way.
● How many different smells can you identify? Are there any that are familiar? Are there any that you just cannot place?
● How are you feeling right now? Warm? Cold? Somewhere in between? Do you notice anything else about yourself?
All of these things are causing you to engage your conscious mind. It’s like you’re giving your subconscious mind a much-needed breather.
Enjoy your walk and marvel at the fact that all of life is going on around you at the moment, all engaged in their own form of activities, all completely separate and yet all interconnected at the same time.
Back at Home - Tasks to Complete
Now that you’ve uncluttered your mind, read through the notes you wrote earlier. You’ll find that now you have greater clarity.
Write down the three most important things you need to get done today on a clean sheet of paper. Then:
● Choose one task from your 3 most important tasks. Choose any one. Make a decision on what you can do about it and take action to move it forward towards completion.
● Then, choose a second task and repeat the exercise.
● When that’s done, take the third task. Make a decision and take action on that one.
Then go for another walk, at least 30 minutes. Observe all the business of life itself while you are just walking.
When you get home, have a cup of coffee and relax. You’ll notice how your mental state has completely changed.
Your mind is no longer racing, and you can feel good about yourself, knowing that you’ve handled the most important tasks of the day.
The next time that you find your head in a spin, remember: Keep Calm and Write It Down!
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: How to do Mindfulness
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