Do you, most of the time, feel like you are caught up in never-ending self-talk or self-created scenarios in your head? Humans have this great ability to introspect. The ability to introspect may improve our problem-solving skills and help us make better decisions. Thanks to introspection, we can learn from our mistakes and prepare ourselves better for the future. Also, if you are a goal-oriented person, you can harness the power of your inner voice to remind you of your goals and purpose in life. But too much of inner voice can easily get pretty annoying, and slow us down; especially when that inner voice ends up being negative self-talk.
Our brains are similar to computers, and they can handle only a limited amount of data at any one time. When the chatter in our head gets too much, it reduces our cognitive capacities in a way. How many times do you catch yourself blankly staring at the computer screen at work because you are still thinking about the fight you had with a loved one day before? Don’t worry, it happens even to the best of us 🙂
Luckily we have some tricks at our immediate disposal to quieten the voice in our heads. The best thing about these tricks is that they don’t require any fancy or expensive tools. It’s easier said than done, but all we really need to do is to tap into the resources that our bodies offer.
- Learn to be a great host to your thoughts: I read this analogy in one of the books whose name I, unfortunately, do not remember. But the book suggested thinking about a great party host. You may agree that at parties or social gatherings, there are usually some unhappy people too. And what do great hosts do? They do not kick those people out of their houses. They always find something to keep the unhappy guests occupied and entertained. If an unhappy guest complains about the rough chair, the great host would find and give them a cushion or a comfortable sofa to keep the guest distracted. In a similar fashion, you can apply the same rule to your brain by keeping it occupied with your breath. When you start focusing on your breath, you will notice that the inner critic will turn the volume down:)
- Give some distance to your thoughts: This trick may require a little more effort because you will need to practice dissociating yourself from the films you keep playing in your head. Let’s say that you argued with a loved one, and you keep ruminating about the event. You are probably imagining the same scene over and over in an “I vs him/her” situation. Practice visualizing the scene as a film and imagine the fight taking place between two strangers. This exercise may hopefully calm down your emotions and help you focus your perspective.
- Try temporal distancing: You may have heard of the quote, “If it won’t matter in five years, don’t worry about it for more than five minutes.” When they happen, negative events feel like they are here to stay forever. Remember, nothing is permanent.
- Seek valuable support: I underlined the word valuable for a reason. Some people, unconsciously, may drag you further into your problems. Their best intentions may be to help you by listening to you and asking what happened. But thinking about a bad event over and over and going through all the negative emotions every time you think about the event is not going to make things better. Search for advice from people who are solution-oriented. Look for people who will ask you, “What are you going to do about it next?”
5. Don’t forget the power of nature: Nature has a relaxing effect on all living beings. Remember to take some time off and spend some time by yourself in nature. Relaxing in open green spaces may help you find new perspectives on whatever is happening in your life.
What are your go-to methods for silencing your inner DJ?