We often spend far too much time going over and over the same things in our minds. This is what I call “processing.” It’s most often a recycling of the pains, hurts, slights, disappointments, losses, griefs and beefs of our lives.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t think our way out of these negative cycles. We have to act out way out of them. The best rebooting strategy is to do something totally unrelated to the issue being cycled through our minds.
It helps a lot to get out of the environment where most of this cycling is occurring, even if only for a short while. Ten minutes away helps.
Over the years I’ve done things like take my dog for a walk or go to a store just to browse. The more mindless the activity, the better. At a hospital and also at schools where I’ve worked or studied, I’d often go and just sit quietly in the chapel. Usually nobody would be there and there were nice things to look at like stained glass windows and sometimes flower arrangements. Occasionally I’d walk a lap around a school track or take a stroll around hospital corridors.
In graduate school i often went to a nearby store where gourmet teas were sold. The fragrances were especially calming and tea is pretty inexpensive. There was a nearby florist and I’d often buy a flower or two for my office. Fresh air makes it all even better; if you can, go outdoors…unfortunately not always a possibility given the weather and the time available.
These brief outings take little time or money but the benefits can be enormous. I’d always return refreshed, whatever thoughts I’d been “processing” had been replaced and my mood and attitude would be far more upbeat.#drmary #emotionaleducation #emoed