Is Your Mind on Overdrive?

Sometimes I feel like there is a tennis match in my head. My attention is split and the ball bounces back and forth as if to say:

Do this…
No, do this…
No, do this…
No, do this…

Can you relate at all to this feeling?

Some days I’m able to catch this pattern quicker than others. The point is noticing it and then doing something about it that makes you feel better. There are two things I do when this tennis match gets out of control:

Relax. I journal, meditate, take deep breaths, stretch, read a book, clean up around the house, start preparing dinner. Something that is relaxing for me and brings my attention somewhere other than my thoughts.

Take Action. Now that I’ve given myself time to relax I can actually do one of the things I was thinking about.

For example, today I’m working on several tasks – finalizing my public speaking presentation for tomorrow,  updating website content and marketing a new community I’m creating for health/wellness/fitness professionals. Somewhere in there I wanted to write a blog post.  I felt overwhelmed. I took a break and meditated.

That’s when I got the idea to write THIS post.

Funny how that happens.

In a day and age when we have SO MUCH to do, taking time to pause and relax seems counter intuitive. The truth is it’s actually more productive. There is extensive research on the benefits of meditation and relaxation techniques that is not to be taken lightly. Many of today’s common ailments (loss of sleep, lack of focus, low self-esteem) can be helped through these methods.

The next time you notice your mind on overdrive consider taking a short break, rest your mind, and then take some action. Do you have it in you to give it a shot? You don’t have to meditate or journal, think about what activities make you feel relaxed. Do those. A few minutes is all you need. Can you spare 5 or 10?

After 12 minutes of meditation, I finished writing this post in just as many minutes. No more tennis match, just focus. That is feel good living.

What do you think? Do you do this already? Is it something you’re willing to try to feel better? Share your experiences by leaving a comment. Would love to know what you think.

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  • Adam Cupples

    I completely agree. For me it’s getting up from whatever I am doing. Walk around and try to laugh. I see alot of people thinking they are taking a break but still checking email on there phone. You need to just get away from it all and that could mean for 2, 4, 6 minutes and find what works for you.

  • cailen

    i know this feeling all too well. i have my own business and work from home and some days there is so much to do that i feel like i’m getting nothing done at all because my mind won’t settle! but you’re right – taking the time for a short break and to gain some clarity and focus helps tremendously!

    have a great weekend and good luck with your speaking engagement.

  • kim

    Great Article. I support and use all your techniques and they do work. Another to add to your tool box is what I call a “data dump”. Take a piece of paper and just write down EVERYTHING that is in your head. Your worries, your to do’s from the smallest to the biggest. Put down everything until you begin to feel the overwhelm just drain from your body and you begin to feel better. Then I do all the things you suggested until I get enough energy and focus to breeze through them.

    Thanks for sharing. I know this is something we can ALL relate to at some point in our lives.

  • Stacey Shipman

    Adam – Thanks for your feedback. I agree a walk works wonders. Laughter is the best cure all. :-)

    Kim – Thanks for leaving a comment. I journal, too, to “data dump” as you put it. I think it’s a great tool to quiet the mind. Thanks for sharing it!

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