Slowing Down Our Runaway Brains

NOBODY lives in the present 24/7.  Well, maybe some monks in a monastery in Tibet, but that’s not us, we have stuff going on we need to think about.

For me, the goal is about spending more time in the moment, even if it is only for a moment at a time.  The more time I spend throughout the day bringing my awareness back to Right Here Right Now the happier I am and the better I am.

The trick is in training our runaway brains to take a break.

I am one of those people with a VERY BUSY BRAIN!  It can spin and twirl around all over the map at any given hour without warning.  I’m not going to tell you every time my busy brain takes me out for a spin I stop it, sometimes I want to think about stuff.  What I do want to talk about is catching it when it goes rogue and learning to reel it in when I choose.

Before I began living Right Here Right Now I spent most of my time in my head, replaying the tape.  You know the tape; the conversation with a co-worker, family member, partner, what you said, what they said, yadayada.  Or better yet, the other tape; what you’re going to say!!!!  That’s a good one.  How many times have you had “the conversation in advance?”  How many times did it go the way you played it in your head?  Not only is it exhausting and a total time burner, think about how much of your life passes you by while you are stuck inside your head.

When your mind wanders does it tend to wander down a negative path or a positive one?

Have you had the experience of driving somewhere and your thoughts take you down a negative road, by the time you arrive at your destination you are angry all over again?  Several things happen when we do this, it sucks the joy out of our drive, it re-hashes something you cannot change (no matter how much you replay the tape) and often, whoever is awaiting your arrival gets the brunt of it. 

The most effective technique I have found in slowing down the mind chatter is with disruptors, little reminders that I come across to bump or nudge my focus back into the present moment.  This is not intended as a sale pitch but obviously I have RHRN reminders throughout my world.  What I can say is these disruptors have made the difference in my life. 

I have gone from being controlled by my mind chatter to choosing what, when and where my mind goes.  My disruptors have been the tools I have used in creating this habit. 

It’s not that my mind doesn’t wander, it’s just on my terms now.

Being able to laugh at myself and my busy brain has been huge.  Really, if we can’t laugh at ourselves we are taking life way too serious.  When your mind chatter takes you down the rabbit hole, ask yourself how long you want to stay there?  For me, it becomes an inside joke, I might give myself “two more minutes” but I never last that long before I laugh out loud.  By then the disruptor has triggered me back to the moment and it feels silly going back in the hole, I look around to find something beautiful or something to be grateful for.

Like most things in life, when we begin to get a level of awareness we can begin to modify our behavior.  It doesn’t happen overnight and you have to keep at it but I am a walking, talking testament that life is calmer, happier, more meaningful, and a ton more fun when I am living most of it in realtime.  Find the disruptors that work for you, keep it real, keep it fun and celebrate more moments Right Here Right Now.

RHRN ~ Suzanne