Guest post by Josh Flowers
We are addicted to movement in many forms. Aside from the obvious, physical movement (we are busy bodies for sure!), another aspect of our lives that is constantly in motion is our mind and thoughts. It is a wonder that we can get any relaxing done with the sheer number of thoughts that course through our brains at any given moment.
What would it be like to put a pause on this constant rumble of thoughts? Obviously, it is not possible to stop them for a whole day, but we can create moments of respite throughout our day where we can take these pauses from the busyness of our minds.
What is Mindfulness?
Before we can take a break from the stream of thoughts that are happening in our minds, we have to first notice what it is that we are thinking.
- Are we consumed with worries about an upcoming deadline or event?
- Are we lost in a daydream or fantasizing about something we desire?
- Are we having an internal dialogue focused on a particular matter that is causing us to feel happy, angry, or confused?
Unfortunately, our thoughts often seem to be playing for the other team: they can be downright mean in their judgments and commentary about who we are or how we are performing. This can create a stress response in our bodies, flooding our system with cortisol.
Just noticing these thoughts can be difficult, as we are used to letting them run rampant without us paying much attention. But, we can practice becoming an observer of our thoughts. Mindfulness is a great tool to help with this. When we notice what our running dialogue consists of, we can pause and choose how to respond.
Simple Ways to Detox Your Thoughts with Mindfulness
Here are a few mindfulness steps that can help you create mental space for a detoxing your thoughts:
- Start by asking yourself, “What is in?” or “What is going on inside my head?” Then, go on a search and notice what you find. As you discover your thoughts, try not to judge them—you are just a casual observer.
- Label your thoughts, by inwardly saying, “Thinking.” This gets rid of our tendency to judge what we find as “good” or “bad.” They are simply thoughts.
- If you notice that the thoughts consist of mean-spirited commentaries, focus on the feelings and even body sensations connected to these unhelpful words. Do the same thing if these thoughts are generous and uplifting.
- When you notice these thoughts, whether they are kind or cruel, picture them in your mind’s eye being placed on a leaf or a small boat and floating away down a gentle stream.
- Now, take a few deep breaths and just be with the quiet… until the next thought arises.
- Then, go back to step one.
For more mindfulness suggestions, download this free eBook, Finding Stones in Mountains: Discover the Six Paths to a Deeper Mindfulness Practice, by Josh Flowers. He’s a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC) offering online counseling for addiction recovery and the phases of transition in life.
What About You?
What has helped you keep your mind and thoughts balanced? I would love to hear what you have to say in our comment section. Please inspire each other!
As a registered Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Colorado, I specialize in addressing the underlying issues related to thyroid, autoimmunity, digestion, chronic congestion, and adult acne. If you’re interested in working with me, schedule a free “Is this a good fit?” office or phone consult so that you can find out how I can help you.