If you are like most people, you may often feel as if your mind is tormenting you and there is no escape. Ironically, when the torment is very vivid, our mind is actually dull, lacking in clarity and creativity.
Of course we can’t enjoy our mind in such a state and we feel trapped because we lack the clarity and creativity to get out of it. Actually, it can be quite easy to “escape” if you follow these tips:
Instead of running away from your mind or fighting back against it, try talking to it as though it is a person you want to make friends with. Don’t be falsely polite the way we often behave when we meet someone new. Speak forthrightly, with curiosity and respect.
It’s fine to challenge your mind. With genuine interest, you can ask it, “Why do you believe that thought?”If possible, ask or challenge your mind without anger, resentment, or complaint.
You could try doing this for a moment, right now.
You’ll be surprised at how talking to your mind in an easy, conversational way can create a sense of relief and refreshment. You can actually get your mind to think about itself! It can be quite astonishing to have a sense that “someone” (your mind) is listening to you, taking in what you are saying, that this someone is considering and being affected by your questions.
When you ask or challenge your mind and its thoughts, you are not demanding instant answers. You are inviting your mind to consider its options and explore them with you. “What am I thinking? Do I necessary have to have that thought? Does this or that thought make me feel energized or tired out?” Together you and your mind can develop a shared interest in what it is doing and what its intentions are when it thinks whatever thoughts it habitually thinks.
Asking Challenging Questions
Here are a few powerful questions you can ask your mind anytime you are feeling stressed out or discouraged. Even if you don’t particularly feel upset at this moment, you can ask your mind these questions right now, just as an exploration exercise.
As you go over the questions below, read each as if you are asking your mind these questions.
- Ask just one question, then wait and notice if you sense anything or feel any response at all, or if perhaps a thought comes up in response.
- Then ask again, wait, and notice.
- Repeat asking your mind the question a few times, generating fresh interest each time. Don’t become robotic about it and don’t try to work out any issue in an involved conversation with your mind.
Remember: it’s just you and your mind together –– asking and considering each question, one by one:
“Are you trying to hurt my feelings?”
“Are you trying to get me to put myself down?”
“Are you trying to get me to have low self esteem?”
“Are you trying to be mean to me?”
“Are you trying to scare me?”
What do you notice as you ask each question? Be sure to let yourself take the time to notice.
Whatever response may come up in answer to a given question, there’s no need to be concerned about it. Just take it in and keep asking. If you get distracted, ask the question again. You may even want to ask all of the questions again.
Experiment and explore. Above all, find out what works best for you, whether it is repeating one question several times before moving on to the next, or asking each question in turn,as a set.
I would love to hear from you about whatever you discover.
© Jack Elias, jackelias.com, permission to share with acknowledgement