Overactive Mind Hack Series: #1- Mindfulness

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Drumroll please….Introducing The Conscious Craft’s #overactivemindhack podcast series! We will be rolling out hacks to help your mind simmer down... right now!

A peace of mind (literally) can be created, but it isn’t something that comes without practice. We can create more relaxation in our life by practicing relaxation. These overactive mind hacks are to help you achieve mental clarity and emotionally calm states in a jiffy.

Peace doesn’t mean everything will stop around you- it means you are able to become calm internally amongst the noise.

We’re all susceptible to a racing mind, but the fact is that each time we produce a thought, we release a chemical in our body. The more we release a particular chemical, our body becomes use to it and in a way, becomes addicted to it (that’s cray, body) -- it’s important to note that not all these chemicals are healthy, depending on the thoughts you are thinking.

Let’s say you’re worried about an upcoming meeting that you have to present at and you are envisioning yourself bombing it because you felt you didn’t perform as well at the last one. When we have a fearful thought, you’re actually sending the signal to your body that there is a threat because you’re stressed (your body goes into survival mode aka fight, flight, or freeze).

This mode is highly inflammatory for the system. Overtime, we can create a weakened immune system, a short temper, and a slew of health problems.

We also will produce even more fearful thoughts because your body and mind has become accustomed to this chemical being produced and is waiting diligently for what it’s used to receiving.

So the game here: Train your brain to think new thoughts.

Change your mental and emotional state as soon as you notice yourself going into frustration, anxiety or anger. Keep in mind, we are not suggesting you do not process and go through your emotions (we are absolutely meant to feel our emotions!). We are simply providing a solution to help you get out of those unnecessary states of frustration and anxiety as often as possible.

The point is to reduce the time you spend in rumination or low energy. Start to pay attention to when you drop out of your good feeling states and into frustration and anxiety and become conscious of how much time you spend there. These hacks are to help you snap out of those states quickly and act as reset buttons. This is a practice.

Our first overactive mind hack: Practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness = staying in the present moment. The more we do this, the more we stay out of the thought cycles or ruminating patterns of the past and future.

Our minds love to focus on what is not presently happening and we can get stuck ruminating if we don’t consciously practice choosing to stay in the moment.

Here’s the thing. When we’re stuck in the past and future, we feel the emotional states of those memories of the past and worries of the future. If they’re positive feelings, then great. If not, then we want to shorten the amount of time we hang out there. Because what we focus on is where we are putting our energy.

If we are focusing on past events that didn’t feel great, we’re cultivating that same emotion because our brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination- it’s actually processing it the same way and producing the same chemicals in the body. Every time you think of an uneasy memory, you’re physically going through that memory again.

So develop the practice of mindfulness by doing certain activities that require you to pay attention.

This could be cooking, playing a sport, brushing your teeth with your left hand, doing a fitness class, or driving a different route to work.

The more you can break out of your everyday routine, the easier it is to practice mindfulness because you’re forced to be brought into the present moment, as opposed to going through our everyday tasks while also thinking about everything else on our perpetual to-do list.

Remember, this is a practice. The more you do it, the easier it will become, but at first you have to set yourself up for success by either setting reminders or choosing new activities.

What activities can you start to do that require you to be present?

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