We all have around 70,000 thoughts a day. No wonder it can get a bit overwhelming?! The beauty is though, that it doesn’t matter how many thoughts we have flying past – what matters are those we grab and hang onto, take for a spin, ponder and let linger: they are the ones that risk dragging us down.
A really refreshing tactic came from recent, successful work to help people with depression, which we can all learn from: limit the amount of time a day, you dive into the worrying, ruminating thoughts.
Aha! It’s NOT changing negative thoughts into positive ones, it’s NOT trying to empty your mind and not think at all (how can we possibly with 70,000 thoughts a day?). It’s limiting the amount of time we allow ourselves to give the worrying thoughts attention.
Specifically, set a time a day that becomes your routine “worry wort time”. Let’s say 8-9pm every day. Whenever during the day, you catch yourself jumping onto the worry train, jump off: you will worry about it at 8pm (and no, you do not need to write a note about it).
Simplified, it’s us observing our thoughts like a sushi train. Noticing the plates of salmon sashimi, tempura and tiger rolls pass by. And realising you don’t HAVE to grab them. Let them continue on the train. They may even come back a second time, you still don’t have to grab them. In this case with your new 8-9pm worry wart slot, you wait until then, and see if any of them is popping up and still have your interest by then.
This goes for your own mind and as well for the collective mind in your teams and your business. We have a choice – of which thoughts and discussions we pick up, and which ones we park for later. How liberating to let the worrying wait – you’re not controlling me, I’m in charge, and I decide when and for how long I jump on your train. Enjoy practising this coming week.