I think it's safe to say we all have our fair share of moments where we're stuck in a rut, stuck in our minds. As a millenial, I often find myself stopping to think a bit too often: should I get almond milk with my latte instead of my usual soy? Am I making the right decision by skipping out on drinks with a friend tonight? Where is my career going? All valid questions, for sure, but if we glance at our shoes to make sure they're always tied, how can we notice the beautiful flowers all around us and stop to smell the roses?
It is vital to remember that thoughts are powerful tools, necessary for our actions: but they do not define us. Pausing the rumination is much easier said than done and I am by no means an expert, but I am a die-hard trial runner in the field. I've complied a few ideas to help you step away from your thoughts and take action instead:
Tip #1: Dedicate Time to Plan Actions
You have all these ideas in your head, so many goals, so little time- it gets overwhelming! Prioritizing them can seem like a burden when everything seems equally important. On the flipside, maybe you don't have any concrete goals and are just throwing things at the wall and hoping something sticks. Let me tell you something based on personal experience- it doesn't work. Though motivated, I am not a particularly driven human being- I will procrastinate until I have no other option but to do it or give up. With so many choices and decisions to be made about your goal, it's no wonder we're spinning in our heads. Sit down and organize those thoughts. Write down all the goals that come to mind- playing that dusty guitar in the corner of your room, learning to draw with that sketchbook you never use, meditating every morning. Write every single one down. Then, scan your list, and pick ONE to focus on. Yes, just the one. I know you want to be the Next John Mayer and Picasso, but you can't excel if you don't start on any of them! Choosing just one lets your brain hone in on one single idea. Give it a routine, it likes that! The strategy here is: one day at a time. What can you do today to get closer to your goal? If practicing your guitar chords for 2 min today is all that's feasible, that's fine- but get. it. done. If you find yourself tripping up, re-access your chosen goal. Maybe there's something else on that list that's peaking your mind!
Tip #2: Alott some time to just let your mind run wild.
Does this sound counterproductive? May seem that way, but it's important to just let your brain do what it does best: think. If you find yourself going off on a tangent instead of reading that book and you just can't seem to concentrate with all those bouncing thoughts: take that time to let them go nuts. Set a timer, 5, 10, 15 minutes- let your mind wander where it wants to. But be firm about your time limit- once the timer goes off, peel yourself away from the spiral. It will take practice, it will take effort, but the pay off is not only worth it, it's necessary! Learn to control your thoughts one step at a time. That's the whole point of this, right?
I hope this list has been helpful! Leave a comment below if you plan on utilizing these tips, have tried something similar, or have any further suggeestions!