Do you believe everything your mind tells you? If so:
Mindfulness changes our relationship with experience and a chattering mind is an ever-present experience for most of us.
The insight that I don’t have to believe everything my mind tells me has been a liberating aspect of mindfulness for me.
This is especially so when my mind is telling me I ought to be upset, angry or fearful about something that I will have forgotten in an hour’s time – maybe even a minute’s time. My mind also creates all sorts of hobgoblins about the future but the fact is I haven’t a clue what the future will be like. And that applies whether that future is in a couple of hours’ time or a couple of decades’ time.
A certain amount of planning is, of course, sensible – but listening to the mind’s scary stories isn’t the same as planning and could actually put you off doing what needs to be done. Why? Because one – unhelpful – way to escape from the fear is to ignore the issue by checking social media for the umpteenth time or by some other means of distraction. Reminding myself that I don’t have to believe everything my mind tells me helps me to plan for the future without drama.
So next time you feel yourself getting uptight about something, remind yourself that you don’t have to believe everything your mind tells you. This helps you to sift what’s useful from what’s just noise and to devote your attention to what really matters.
My online course Easy Mindfulness contains many techniques that can help you deal with a ‘runaway mind.’
Post written 8th July 2017, updated 17th February 2020.
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