One of the biggest lessons I have learned throughout the process of my own mindfulness development is paying attention to my thoughts.
So often, our brains are flooded with thoughts about a million different things:
What should I make for dinner?
How will I afford my credit card bill this month?
Are my kids safe at school? Online? When out with friends?
Will I make this deadline at work?
How safe & secure is my job?
When will I be able to take a vacation again?
Some thoughts and questions are more stressful than others, and they linger in our brain space all day long.
These lingering, stress-provoking thoughts often become what causes us to pour the 2nd or 3rd glass of wine, eat the pizza, or dive into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s late at night…. even though we are trying hard to be healthy & look and feel our best.
We do these things without even realizing why:
“I just can’t help it. I do wonderful all day, but at night my nutrition goes down the drain!”
It is such a common situation...and a frustrating one, as well.
The key to changing this is to become more connected with the stressful thoughts that fly through our minds all day long.
Not to RID ourselves of the thoughts, or to ignore them…. No, the opposite.
We must acknowledge the thoughts, give them space, but also develop the ability to refocus.
The simple act of acknowledging the thoughts, and acknowledging that they distract and cloud the mind can assist in the process of developing clarity.
In other words: we must pay better attention to what is taking up space in our brain. We must pay better attention to the things we allow to occupy the limited capacity we have to think and focus.
Here’s a simple way to start doing so… it’s something I started doing recently and am working on each day.
Download a meditation app (I use Headspace) and start with 3 minute meditations. Create 3 minutes in your day where your only focus is to pay attention to the thoughts in your brain, and train yourself to refocus.
The mindfulness and power your create over what goes on in your brain will be life-changing!