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Recently, on a nice sunny day, while walking along 3rd Avenue, on my way to meet my son for dinner, I found myself surrounded by people who were walking fast, and many of them had a blank look on their faces.
Wow, I remember saying to myself, should I be in a hurry as well? Is Hurricane Gloria about to hit New York City again? It just did not make sense that on such a beautiful day, everyone had a good reason to be in a rush and so mentally consumed with themselves.
And then, it hit me. It seems to me that we become so self-programmed to exist in the future, and in the past, that we neglect the powers embedded in the present. Life is complicated, and we have a lot on our minds, and at times, it can be overwhelming. But this is exactly why we need to take frequent time-outs from what keeps us up at night and allow our mind to rest, and replenish itself with solutions.
As I see it, our mind is literally a super computer with capabilities beyond our imagination, but when we abuse it with our habitual pattern of overthinking, worrying about anything and everything, our mind’s optimum functioning is being greatly compromised. A mind is at its best when it’s not too busy thinking.
It might be counter-intuitive, but our full horse power of intellect, can be accessed only when our mind is relatively still and free of over-thinking. And it’s not even close to being calm, when we are fully consumed with thoughts such as “its not fair,” “what if,” “why me,” “why not me” “I hate my boss,” “I hate myself.” We became a robot with a Central Processing Unit that is about to overheat, possibly causing us mental and physical discomfort.
Regardless of the circumstances, whenever I find myself over-thinking, I hit the pause button and take a short mental break, reconnecting with what is here and now. Using all of my five senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching), I sink in to the feeling of being grateful for having the opportunity to enjoy everything, and everyone, around me without any need to judge anything or anyone.
But, at times, resetting doesn’t come easy. I often find myself flooded with thoughts that keep coming at me with no mercy. It’s the habitual pattern of overthinking that is hard to let go of. Just like a child, thoughts love getting attention, sucking the life energy out of us.
What I find helpful is to completely ignore them. You see, I view my awareness as an internal flashlight. It either illuminates thoughts or it illuminates the present moment, which is always neutral and peaceful. As long as I point my flashlight away from the typical overthinking, within minutes, as my mind clears, a new and positive thought will pop in to my consciousness. It seems to me that, when we reject a specific nature of thoughts, our mind will detect it as a sign for our desire to think the opposite. Did I say that our mind is a super computer?
So next time we catch ourselves on auto-pilot, let’s take a mental “coffee break”, enabling ourselves to reset and restore our perspective on life, which is so important in enabling us to succeed without any need to sacrifice our well-being.
Author: Elie Klachkin
Editor: Jean Weiss
Photo: Guilherme Nicholas