Quiet the Brain Chatter: Create a Mindful Moment Wherever You Are
As you’re showering in the morning, do you ever get caught up in thoughts about what’s coming up in the day ahead? Thoughts about the errands and chores. The conversation you need to have. The phone call or text that you need to send. That email you didn’t reply to yet. Or, that appointment you still didn’t book.
You get so caught up in your head you almost forget where you are.
You start thinking about that conversation that you had with so-and-so and you replay, what you could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve said. You contemplate what you’re gonna say next time you see them. How they might respond. What you might do in return. You hope you don’t bump into them. You don’t wanna see them again.
You become so absorbed in your thoughts, that it’s almost as if you’re already in that confrontation with that person. Or even worse, it’s as if they’re right there with you IN THE SHOWER.
The mind is a funny thing. It can take you to places real or imagined. You can create feelings just by what you focus on. You can change your entire state of being ~ thoughts, feelings, body sensations, energy vibes ~ just by what you focus on.
So even when you’re in the shower, you can be completely peeved-off by a conversation that hasn’t even happened. Or, maybe it did, but it’s in the past. Or, it may never ever happen. But when you focus on talking to so-and-so, you can create that entire qualitative state just by tuning all of your attention to the conversation IN YOUR HEAD.
Why not give yourself a break?
Instead of focusing on a conversation from the past or future, or any other chore, errand, job or task ~ instead, what about staying present to the exact moment you are in.
This is the crux of mindfulness.
Jon Kabbat-Zinn defines mindfulness as, “consciously paying attention, on purpose, in the immediate moment, without judgement”. And, I LOVE that he adds…. “as if your life depends on it.”
Now, I’ve taught mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) classes for the past 6 years and EVERY TIME I give this definition I always get a huge reaction from that last line…. “as if your life depends on it”.
This can be interpreted in many, many ways. This is how I see it.
If you’re in the shower, thinking so much about that challenging conversation that you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, angry and insulted ~ then your life definitely depends on where you’re focusing your attention. You are keeping that conflict going. You are keeping the energy alive.
Imagine instead, focusing your mind on the environment that you’re currently in. Soaking in the moment of your shower. Being fully present to the sights, sounds, smells and feels of the shower.
Your experience would be totally different. Your life (in that moment) would be a complete 180 change.
Wanna know how to do this?
SOAK IN THE MOMENT
The next time you’re in the shower notice the feel of the water. Is the pressure gentle or blasting? Is the temperature more warm or cool? Can you isolate one stream of water and follow it.
Notice the smells of your body wash, soap, shaving cream, or shampoo. What does it smell like? Apples, flowers, something else? Does it bring up memories?
Really pay attention to what you see in your body wash or soap. What colour is it? Does it lather well? Is it bubbly or creamy? Does it leave a film or rinse off clean?
What do you hear? If you close your eyes and really listen, beyond the sound of the water can you hear the fan, birds outside, something else?
Is there a taste? Do you taste the water? Do you have morning breath or coffee breath? Are you brushing your teeth in the shower? What is the flavour of your toothpaste?
Really BE in the moment. Soak in all of your senses. What you see… hear…. smell… feel… and taste.
Be there fully. Because your experience of life in that moment depends on it.
Now tell me, which experience is more enjoyable, the conversation in your head or the outside experience of the shower you are actually standing in?
Your life depends on it.
If you’d like support with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) strategies to quiet down the inner chatter of your busy brain, please reach out.
Call or email me to book an appointment.