Do you feel anxious, depressed, high strung? Are you tense and angry a lot? Does your mind race with many ideas and thoughts that you feel like you cannot control? Perhaps you are highly critical of yourself and others, highly analytical, and think a lot about things that other people might not. Maybe if you could cope with your negative feelings and get your thought to slow down, it might be easier to dial into the subtleties that people communicate with?
I do not know if this is a human tendency, “human nature,” or a phenomenon of modern society, but people seem to be more focused on themselves than others. I do believe mankind has been like this for quite a while, like the default settings on a computer. Successful businessmen like Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence people discusses many strategies to help businesses, and it focuses on being interested in others as opposed to presenting yourself as interesting. There is a lot more to it than that. It is a freaking amazing book that everyone should read no matter what they do with their life. So what are you waiting for? Take note of that book and get it when you’re done reading this blog!
So we all have this tendency to focus more on ourselves than others. Various religions have tales and lessons to help people have a focus on others. When life gets hard, it makes sense for us to retreat into our mind. When challenge presences itself, the small child inside us can react in many different ways, but with practice we can flip the script. But how do we actually do this?
The many personally development and leadership books I have studied often talk about gratitude. One strategy I have read about is to take a moment every hour and wish someone to be happy. My memory is failing me at the moment, so I do not remember where I read this. Maybe it was Gabrielle Bernstein. Anyway, this practice is not to randomly wish people happy. It is just a silent practice. Take a brief moment and just wish someone to be happy. It could be a friend, family member, some random stranger you see, or a co worker. For a brief moment in time, you are getting out of your mind by wishing for someone else to be happy.
Another thing that can help sometimes is to try and see if someone else you know needs help or someone to talk to. This can actually be very simple. Next time, you are having a moment, just start messaging friends and chat with them for a bit. You could ask them how their day is going and just listen to their challenges. Maybe there is something you could do to help them. It can be easy to forget about our worries and troubles when we have to help someone else. For a moment in time, you get out of your mind to help someone.
Getting back to the practice of gratitude, another quick thing to do when sh** hits the fan is to start expressing gratitude for everything you have. Consider the simple things in your life that makes life easy. Reflect on all the people in your life that are there for you, and the access to technology. If you take a moment to really think, then you will see there are so many things to be grateful for.
Movement can also be a powerful tool to get out of your mind. Go for a walk, ride a bike, do some HIIT training, Calisthenics, weight lifting, sports, martial arts, or some other form of movement. Put your all into that movement. I find movement can help to release the negativity that was building up inside.
There are more strategies than this, but I hope this is a good beginning for you if you are struggling. Do not overthink it. Pick one thing, try that, and see how it goes! Get out of your mind!