Peace of mind is something we all need. It’s essential to our mental health and important to our emotional wellbeing. However, it can sometimes be difficult to achieve, maintain or it simply seems to elude us.
It’s not surprising we feel this way when you consider that our brains are capable of producing up to 50,000 thoughts per day! No wonder we can feel like our minds are spinning and we feel overwhelmed, confused, anxious, pessimistic or even depressed. Lots of people worry about things that are unlikely to ever happen. Other people waste time catastrophising about the worst possible scenario. A vast majority of all these thoughts are just pure nonsense, but for some reason, some of us choose to entertain them anyway.
The truth is, none of this is actually helpful and all these thoughts are just that … just thoughts and nothing more. Thoughts are merely ideas that drift in and out of our consciousness. Even as we sleep our brains are still thinking up new ideas and creating images which we call dreams. We might reflect on these briefly upon waking and later we simply forget all about them …. a natural process.
However, our thinking, feeling and behaviour are all linked together. When we have a thought about something, it triggers a feeling, this feeling then influences how we behave. If our thinking is negative and we become fused to a particular idea, we may begin to feel upset, worried or even angry. As a result, we often find ourselves behaving, reacting and sometimes overreacting to a situation, only to find that we regret it later, wishing we could have handled this differently.
What if there was a way of taming our minds and managing our thoughts so that we are able to feel calmer, free of endless worry and more in control of our lives?
By increasing the awareness that gives rise to insight and recognising that only a very small percentage of our thoughts are focused on what is real and important, we are able to give much less attention and not give energy to other thoughts, the thoughts that have no basis in reality and therefore feel disturbing to us. Increasing our awareness of what is real and worthy of our attention, without drifting into fantasy and negativity, living in the past or being preoccupied with worry about the future, we are more able to live in the present moment … . the only moment that is actually real. This is what is known as “Mindfulness”.
Accepting what is in our control or not, what we can or cannot change, turning our attention to the present moment, committing to our personal goals and investing our time and energy into creating and living a meaningful life is to live mindfully.