Have you ever wondered how you can start one thought and seconds later be on a completely different train of thought? You could be thinking or worrying about the shopping list and end up on a thought such as a netball registration.
How does this happen?
How can we control this overactive thinking?
Our minds are continually scanning for things that need addressing in our lives and constantly looking for flight or fight situations. How we choose to control these thoughts is quite a simple process. Stop, Breathe and Focus.
If we go back to the shopping list for example, you started to think about the list and what was needed on the list, then jumping to when will you have the time to get this done, to thinking about all your other time pressures such as work and the deadlines you have, to the new work shoes you need as the ones you own have a hole in them, to the netball shoes you need to buy for your child, to the lift you haven't organised yet for her next game, now to her registration you have yet to pay.
All this from your original thought about the shopping list. This thought process is known as 'hooking', where one thought hooks on to the next in no rational form.
Does this sound familiar to some of you?
It does to most of us.
Next time you find your mind racing around and 'hooking' onto thought after thought without any control, STOP, take a good couple of BREATHES and bring your FOCUS back to your original thought. Hold onto that thought and bring as much detail as you need to keep your focus on that thought until you no longer require that thought.
Being aware of racing or 'hooking' thoughts is a perfect start to this process. Simple awareness allows us to make a conscious choice about our thoughts. The above example is a light hearted one but think about the times you have thought about larger things that bring you stress and anxiety. Imagine if you could bring some control over your thoughts by reducing the 'hooking' and irrational thinking. Your mind, body and emotional state would be very grateful.