Many people make the analogy of the mind as a computer – even NLP (neurolinguitstic programming), has that term ‘programming’ in it! There are those that have fabulously quick hard drives, providing answers that are lightning fast. Then there are others who have magnificent hard drives of high intelligence and vast data bases of knowledge.
Just like a computer, we use an operating system (Mac or Windows), installed to make everything work. This is rather like our deeper programs, held at the unconscious level, our beliefs, values (what’s important to us) and our preferences (also known as metaprograms). These build the foundations of our personality. Some are factory-installed and some are customised.
It’s via these that we can run our apps. These make out lives so much easier! Apps are rather like the strategies we run inside our heads. As humans, we have strategies for just about everything we do. Waking up, getting up, going to sleep, driving, learning, working, writing, reading, brushing your teeth, taking a walk…..everything Most strategies run thoroughly well when we feel good. However, poor and unwieldy strategies can make us feel far from good, we develop unhelpful habits and this can make us unhappy and irritated.
When we feel bad, our apps may be running wildly out of alignment with what we want. We may also have gremlins in our operating system that need our attention. In this state, we start to over-think and over-analyse and our thinking can consume us. What if this thinking were just the whirring of codes and algorithms being explored by the computer in an effort to get back to working use? What if each code was simply being tested to see if it was correct? This would mean that the thinking was exploratory, rather than having true meaning.
Now that thinking may seem real and objective to us in that emotional state. What if you considered, just imagined, that that thinking was inadmissible? All the worries, all the anxiety, was a system that was stuck, possibly in an eternal loop? Those codes were of no use. What would you do? Switch the thing off and back on again?! I know I would! And that’s sometimes all it takes.
People who can switch off their personal thinking have the ability to see their thinking merely as a list of trial algorithms. They open up a space in their mind (‘head space’) for ……..intuition and insight. And maybe some down-to-earth common sense. It’s strange, but true. If you say to yourself, “These are only thoughts. Only my mind generating useless thoughts. If I clear them, even for 10 minutes, I’ll allow my mind to really think properly.”
In that overactive hyper-thinking mode, we exhaust the system, rather like pressing all the function keys, command, alt, delete and shift to see if something works! When we stop, go for a metaphorical cup of tea, then we gain access to an inner personal wisdom. And that’s a far more natural state for us all to be in. We all have that inner guide, faith, inspiration and creativity. That’s the real us. What’s more, by having less thinking, we’re open to more of the good things – feeling focused, reflective, feeling well…….feeling like ourselves. Release the pressure by acknowledging that our true selves are underneath the thoughts…..waiting to shine through.
If you’d like to explore how you can use mind techniques to alleviate pressure, anxiety or depression, you may be interested in Create Your Future techniques