Busy mind needs help

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The new year always brings new plans, and I do like that aspect of the new year.  In January I started thinking about what challenges I could do – what marathons or swims or other physical challenges.  And then my little voice chipped in – you know the one that sits on your shoulder and whispers its wisdom in the early hours – ‘sort your mind out’

I’ve been writing this blog for 2 years and when I read back I see so much soul searching and guilt on the need to produce and be meaningful.  Two years on, my mind is still racing around, pit stopping at the guilt feelings and generally going at full pelt to get nowhere. Living in the moment and feeling contented are fleeting moments in my head and I would really really like them to stay around a little longer and take root.

Last month I realised the extent of my busy mental processes.  I’ve been doing some CPD for counselling and we were role playing to practise talking to clients about unhelpful thinking styles and patterns.  I was in the role of client and so shared a recent event that entailed my husband not responding in a rapid manner to a text message.  Within hours I had imagined that a) the dog had come to harm b) my husband had fallen down the stairs or c) both of the above.  Apparently, the Wi-Fi was off.  It dawned on me that my unhelpful thinking style is quite clearly on the catastrophizing spectrum.  Not a surprise to some who know me, but still one of those ‘ta da’ moments for me and a realisation of how unhelpful my thinking can be.

I need to do something, the challenge for 2017 is laid down –  I need to find some new methods of being in the moment and finding contentment and stopping the wild thoughts.  I have no idea how this might work.  Physically I can help by not chasing any PB’s and letting go of the need to prove anything to myself physically and give my mind a chance to catch up. Stop running away from my mind.

Meditation is another obvious tool – so I’m trying to challenge myself to giving this a good go.  I’ve tried twice and my mind is rebelling, but I didn’t think this would be easy and I’ll persevere.  Finding my steady mental pace is going to be a whole lot harder than finding my marathon one.

 

Distractions – procrastination or normal life?

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I was reading an article about the danger of distractions and how, if you get distracted from a task, it can take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.  This was an article about working productively, so more about the everyday work distractions (email/colleagues/facebook etc).  But what if you find yourself distracted away from normal life in general, for more than a few minutes or hours or days.  Let’s say hypothetically that you were all set to head toward some goal or other and then you find that you have been distracted by some unknown force and pulled off course for around a year with no sign of said goals being started, let alone achieved.  What on earth do you do then?  And what does this mean?

This is what I’m pondering at the moment. In a month I’ll be 51 – it seems I was only worrying about 50 a few days ago. Time is ticking away and I don’t feel any closer to being more productive, making a difference to the world, finding my purpose or in fact channelling my time toward any other worthy life enhancing groundbreaking direction.

When I hit 50 I was going to be someone, but it seems I’ve been a bit slow off the mark. Is my distraction a sign that I’ve been lazy, have lost my mojo, picked the wrong goals or just been derailed by life events?  Or should I give up worrying, drop the life enhancement theme and just get on with normal life?  I really need to find out so I’ve bought some more books – ‘What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life’ and ‘Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life’ – hopefully I’ll have read them before I’m 52.