Self Compassion

5 Ways To Stop The Wandering Mind

Do you sometimes think that how on earth some people seem to have it all together and yet you're struggling to string a sentence together?

I get it because I've been there. And this made me feel even more overwhelmed and inadequate! Does it make you feel like that too?

You're not alone. On a bad day when we're tired due to lack of or no sleep (hence the cause of bad day), the things we can usually respond well, tolerate and accept suddenly become intolerable and unacceptable and we respond in a way that perhaps slightly out of character. Everything seems to go wrong and we get even more worked up about it and then your thought process spirals out of control and you start believing that you’re useless, not good enough and so on.

Do you see how sometimes with one thought that is not even true can have the potential to mess up your day? When we’re feeling a little fragile and full self doubt, it’s so easy to get into comparison and feel inadequate. Our mind goes wandering and sometimes before we know it we get anxious. That is what mind does - wanders. We need to control what we think because it affects how we feel and do. Thoughts are simply thoughts and they are not real.

What can you do to stop the wandering thoughts? Here are some tips that you might find helpful:

  1. Switch you attention to your breath then take slow and gentle breath to calm yourself. Start with 5 breaths - in a safe environment, you might like to close your eyes when you do this breathing technique. You can do more if you can. Maybe 2-5 minutes. Your mind might wander and you might feel irritable and uncomfortable because maybe you’re not used to this. But give it a go anyway. Keep focusing on the breath. When you stop and take conscious breaths, your body knows you’re safe and hence your heart rate will return to normal and you can feel calm again.

  2. Bring your attention to the place you’re in, find the things you can touch, see, hear, smell. Then say to yourself ‘I am here’. ‘I am OK’. ‘Everything is OK’.

  3. Take a simple action - a practical action. It distracts you from what you were thinking and gets you to physically change something. Maybe walking, talking, cooking, making a cuppa, anything that will take your mind off what you were thinking.

  4. Make a short list (3-5) of the people and things that you have and are grateful for.

  5. Self-compassion: acknowledge yourself for the things that you have done and achieved and forgive yourself for the things that you have not done. It doesn’t change who you are. Love yourself and all that you are.

So back to you gorgeous one to remember that you are doing your best and you are enough.

By the way, no one has got it together so please go easy on yourself.

Love Claryn x