Sometimes life can seem like a heavy burden of endless problems piling up, one on top of another, on your shoulders. Before you know it there is no more room on your shoulders so you start to stack your worries all around you. The issues, the fights, arguments, the frustrations, the let downs... So many worries, big and small, that you feel like you are lucky if you can peer your eyes over the top to look out at the world you're missing out on. Sound familiar?
While there are many ways you can begin to tackle and 'de-clutter' the stack of worries that have mounted up, here is one effective method that you can do right now. Put them all into an even BIGGER box! Picture yourself throwing them all into a huge box in your mind, sticky-taping the lid and putting the now sole box into a corner somewhere. Your mind will most likely begin to argue with you, to tell you that the problems will not go away and will just get bigger! Thank your mind for the input, and reach a truce by agreeing on a window of time that you can leave everything taped-up in the box. Be it 30 minutes, an hour or a day. So for 30 minutes you are free to be in the moment, enjoying the world around you. The box is still there, the problems are still there, and you can return to them and start worrying about them as much as you like when the time is up. In the meantime, do something that stimulates each of your senses. Listen to music, have a hot bath, lay on the grass, pat your dog, eat a piece of chocolate without chewing (try it!).
This will take practice, as your mind will try to hook you back into worrying about all of the smaller boxes. You can't blame it, sometimes thinking about your problems is as big a habit as using your right hand to clean your teeth (if you are right handed of course!). It would be pretty hard to suddenly stop using your right and start using your left hand to clean your teeth, right? So if you find yourself drifting back to worrying about life, acknowledge that your mind has been super-clever in getting yourself off-track again (no need to get frustrated) and bring your attention back to the activity you're doing.
The more you practice bringing your attention back, the easier it will become. Over time you will find that your minds' attempts at distracting yourself to start worrying about things will become more half-hearted and you'll be able to stay in the moment more easily. Granted, I still can't eat a piece of chocolate without my mind trying to intervene at some stage trying to get me to chomp down on it! Practice, right? I think I can handle trying to practice eating chocolate mindfully. Again and again until I get it right!
Get my thoughts sent directly to your inbox (a modern day version of telepathy).