A mind that never seems to switch off, jumping from one random subject to another with little rhyme or reason – sounds familiar?
A lot of us struggle with a mind which we feel is no longer under our control – sometimes shoving images, thoughts, memories into our faces. The overactive brain is fuelled by an insatiable desire to analyse, interpret and conclude. On one hand while these three yearnings can be used for problem solving and creating desirable outcomes, on the other hand excessive brain activity creates a perfect internal environment for burnout and breakdown because it deprives the repair systems of the body of their main job – restoration. Your body and mind both need rest. But if the mind is hyperactive, constantly processing activities, events and possible scenarios, then it’ll resist sleep despite your body giving you signals that it is tired.
There is no overnight fix for calming down an overactive mind. But, there are things that you can do to balance the activity in your mind and possibly enjoy the present moment.
- We can’t say this enough. EXERCISE. A healthy body creates a healthy mind. Find ways to integrate exercise in your daily routine. Go for a run or a swim, practice yoga or tai-chi, dance – anything that’s fun to do.
- Many people with overactive minds have a pressing need to remain in control of everything in their lives. They sometimes feel that if they lose control over the circumstances, then they lose control of their lives which is not true. Events will come and go in any case. Release the need to control other people and events, control your own actions and reactions.
- Live in the present moment. If you are reading a book, give it your 100% attention. If you are doing something like watching a movie, or having a conversation with someone, allow your whole being to be completely involved in that act. If the mind begins to wander, push it back to the HERE and NOW. This might take a bit of practice and perseverance but it is one of the best ways to become a balanced person.
- Get some sunshine. Take a walk in the nature. Listen to the birdsong or the cadence of the wind. While here, try not to think about your “everyday life”, your work, relationships etc. and simply appreciate what nature provides.
- Eliminate the clutter. Starting a thought journal provides for a simple outlet to release the constant flow of thoughts and clear the mind.
- Meditate. I can already hear some of you voicing your excuses “Don’t have enough time.” “I can never focus and meditate. My mind wanders.” Okay – short of time? Cut down five minutes of your TV time. Doesn’t sound like much but it makes a huge difference. If you think you can’t focus here are two simple meditations that you can practice for five minutes.
- Light a candle and watch the candle flame for five minutes. Observe the thoughts as they appear but do not get involved in them.
- Place any two objects 6 feet away from you and from each other. While trying to focus on these objects, your mind will not be able to process any other thoughts.
An overactive mind is a sign of imbalance and it can definitely be corrected if it bothers you. But one must want to see the change within.