How To Utilize An Overactive Mind

Thinking is often seen as a problem.

You think too much. You're in your head. People say to you.

I can't shut my mind off. I need to learn how to meditate but I can't imagine that I can do that. I can't stop my thinking. You say to yourself.

Our brains are made to think, and therefore that is what your brain will do. Just as you lungs will breathe, and your heart will pump as long as you are alive. Your brain will think.

But you are looking for some respite, some peace from this incessant chatter. You'd love to be able to just shut if off.

You can stop trying so hard. 

Your thoughts are there to serve you. Your brain is thinking and processing information constantly for your benefit. If you can't stop thinking about something there probably is a reason why.

The best thing you can do is to stop fighting. Just listen. Listen to all the chatter, and focus in on exactly what your mind actually really deeply wants to think about. 

As soon as you allow yourself to really go where your mind wants to go, as soon as you give in to thinking about what you deeply want to think about, your mind begins to slow down to give all its attention to the thing it wants to understand. 

Allow your mind to hover on this one thing. Begin to visualize just this thing your mind wants to understand. 

This slowing down to focus on one thing is the essential way to slow your mind. Once in this contemplative space, your entire body calms down, and you begin to utilize your mind in a whole new way.

The focus and visualization of an overactive mind, can help you truly access your genius.

Here is an excerpt from my book "Pain That Had No Name"

Finding my way

You are going to fixate on the problem anyways. 

Buddhist meditation advises to stop thinking, bring your mind back to the breath. psychiatrists, will give you medication for a racing mind.

The more you will try to get away from your thoughts. The more they will chase you. The further you run, the faster they will come, in a never ending crescendo of broken screeching words. Chasing you, your mind, your thoughts, they won’t stop coming.

You will them to stop. You will it to end, your racing mind. But it won’t. You can take psychiatric drugs to dull the pain, to still the voices, but they won’t stop, only hushed, still whispering in the undercurrents of your dreams. Your thoughts, murmuring in the darkness, waiting to be heard, to be acknowledged. 

I didn’t want to stop the thinking. I didn’t want to stop the thoughts. Like a thief in the night, I snuck off to listen to the whisperings of my mind. 

The community I grew up in discouraged any type of thinking. Psychiatrists, and psychologists, would prescribe medication for people who couldn’t turn their minds off. Buddhist meditation taught to still the mind and all thought to achieve peace. 

There were very subliminal messages against thinking. Your thoughts will lead you astray. Thinking too much is not good. You are not happy because you think too much. Don’t think be happy.

But I wanted my thoughts. I wanted to hear them. I wouldn’t run away. Years later my friends would tell me I was a thorough thinker. It started then. At a time when many would have run, I stayed. 

I let the thoughts come. I knew they had something to say. There was a message. In listening and not running, or stilling, the thoughts would teach me.

Karey B. shafferComment