Clear your mind without meditating. How to and Why to.
Hello! Here is the video of this post and below is a script I wrote for video is below if you’d rather read. The content will not be identical as I “wing” the videos.
Clearing your mind, without meditating. Why to and How to
Hey everybody. When I started this channel, I greeted everyone as “sleepy friends.” Then, I realized not everyone with chronic illness is sleepy, so I changed it to “chronic illness warriors.” It’s been brought to my attention that you don’t have to be chronically ill to benefit from my content, so… hey everybody!
Who is this video for? If you have never been successful at meditation, if your thoughts are uncontrollable, if you have a lot of brain fog, if you’re not in the emotional state you want to be in, if you’d just like a little peace and quiet up there, this video is for you, so comment Yes! I need this below.
And, be sure to Subscribe to the channel and hit the bell so you get notified when a new video drops.
Today I’ll be talking about why it’s so darn important to teach yourself how to clear your mind. This is Going Beyond Coping. My name is Dawn Super and I help people cope with chronic illness and pain. So, let’s get started.
I’m going to talk about:
Why you want a clear mind
What is in your mind
When is it in your mind
How do you stop it
Caveat here that I’m not a doctor, or a mental health professional. I’m just someone who has been chronically ill since childhood, I have 9 diagnosed disorders, and I found some things helped me cope better. I share them with others and they tell me they help them cope better too, so I decided to share my experiences with the world in the hope that others can also find their way to going beyond coping, even if only sometimes.
This is a “starter” lesson. It took me several years to get to this point. It also won’t “fix” you to have a clear mind. I still got all my schtuff going on. It will, however, give you more you for you and that starts happening as soon as you adjust your perspective and start PRACTICING.
Why you want a clear mind. To be honest, I never thought it mattered. Attempts at meditation just heightened my narcolepsy and I’d be *out* before I made it through a minute Zzzzz. Now that I can see the vast difference in coping, having control over my mind, I recommend it more than probably any other coping tool.
For everyone, the primary reason for quieting your mind is eliminating that cortisol release. Stressful thought = stress hormones (cortisol) released into the body.
Overthinking, monkey mind, is also not good for sleep or appetite. Cortisol can increase appetite, and you end up eating the wrong (comfort) things, which also can tank your symptoms.
If you’ve got chronic illness, it’s a double whammy because the stress response turns OFF your immune system essentially, to prepare you to run or fight, and then you’re usually worn out.
If you’ve got narcolepsy, it’s a triple whammy because your thoughts affect your emotions and your emotions can trigger cataplexy (each person has their own unique triggers).
This part is tricky for me to say so I’ll say it’s a hypothesis… outside of cataplexy, and being an empath, I believe our emotions affect all of us – all day long. If you’re happy, you feel more able to cope. If you’re sad, it’s harder to cope. Do you agree with that? Comment below if you agree that our emotions affect the way we feel.
A big part of the reason I say “happy matters,” all.the.time. is because I need the reminder. There are SO many things to be sad about, complain about, etc. but I discovered that when I don’t (You have every reason to complain), it’s easier to cope, to keep going beyond coping.
You don’t know what clearing your mind will do for you, until you successfully teach yourself how to do it. So, for the skeptical, let’s just say your why is simply, to see what happens with the hope that you will find more coping along the way. I know I would NOT be as far along as I am if I still had my same old way of thinking.
What is in your mind? I have an hour-long video and text on this, links, etc. below or in the caption, if you’re watching this. It goes into depth on separating your thoughts, essentially into things you need to remember (calendar events, bills) and things you don’t (all the other noise). So, today I’m just going to briefly touch on this and if you want more, you can look it up after. Or, look it up now and come back, your level of participation is totally up to you!
“You can think whatever you want,” is really a double-edged sword lol because many of us tend to feel that we *must* entertain ALL of our thoughts, but, the brain is not always your friend. WHAT you’re thinking about is THE most important aspect of this coping tool.
Let’s say you’re thinking about a movie you saw last year. Great movie = feel good. Expensive = not so good. Liked who you were with = good. Didn’t like the people talking = not good. You miss movies = not good. Haven’t been in a long time = not good. I’m shooting this video in December of 2020… Can’t even go now if I want to = not good. Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to again = not good.
So you started at, Oh hey, I really enjoyed that movie, and ended up depressed! And you never left your mind!
Mindfulness is just “what’s on your mind.” “What you think about, you bring about,” does not mean literally that you speak things into existence… ok well for some people it does but I’m trying to keep it less woo woo so I don’t lose people lol. What you think about (being sad) you bring about (gets sad). What you think about (being happy) you bring about (gets happy). Insert ANYTHING into the first parenthesis and you’ll get the end result. Like cars? Think about cars = feel good. Think about crashing your car = feel not good.
Humans have more than 6000 thoughts a day! That’s a lot of thoughts. If you’re a 2857 tabs open kind of person, it’s probably even higher. Being a THINKER is not the problem, even being an OVERTHINKER can have some benefits, it’s all about WHAT you’re allowing your mind to think.
When is it in your mind? Certain thoughts at certain times also hit differently. When you think about crashing the car while you’re lying in the bed resting, will generate a very different response than if you think about crashing the car while you’re DRIVING.
Some times you will be more susceptible to monkey mind, especially when doing something “mindless,” like dishes or driving. Your brain wanders off like a toddler at the petting zoo and before you know it, automatic behavior has gotten you to your destination, even though you don’t necessarily “remember” the journey.
You have thoughts in relation to solitary stimulus (something you’re watching, reading, listening to) and thoughts in response to interactions with others. In each instance, thoughts can change the way things go for you in the moment, and for the time period after. If you want more you, for you, noticing when your thoughts are *more* will give you a good place to start snipping.
Do you notice? If there’s a particular time of day or task where you get more monkey mindish than others? Comment below and tell us.
How do you stop it? For me the BIGGEST thing that helped me stop it was giving myself “permission” to forget it. Most of my life I was a borderline hoarder and my thoughts were no exception. As an inventor, writer, creator, I felt I had a “responsibility” to THINK EVERY THOUGHT! DON’T WASTE ANY THOUGHTS. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up there to be honest but I had OBLIGATED myself to each of my thoughts.
As I began the journey, I started granting myself *permission* to let a thought go, rationalizing myself through them as they came. “It’s OK, that’s not due yet, let’s not worry about that now, it’s on the calendar.” Or, “What I think about what they are going to say about this is irrelevant. My thinking they’ll say it one way over another will not make it so, so let’s just wait and see what they *actually* say and then start a plan from there.”
In the beginning I was worried about forgetting things, so I kept a strict calendar and set of well-labeled alarms going all the time. Made sure every *must do* was recorded somewhere.
When I thought about painful things that I can’t do anything about, like my daughter disowning me, I reassure and comfort myself and then play some music or something to distract myself from that which I cannot change.
When I thought about things that made me angry, I would whisper to myself, “Be someone you’d want to hang around with.” Would I want to sit with someone who was just spewing all this angry talk across the table from me? No, I would probably excuse myself. So, I excuse myself… from myself lol. “We are NOT going to think about this now. If you’re still mad later, you can think about it then.”
When I have thoughts that lead to worry (anxiety, cortisol release), I reassure myself. “There there, dear. Whatever happens, we will deal with it then.” I force them out with good thoughts. Either posts on social media, videos on youtube, talking to a person, or just singing. I show the thought the door before my brain shows me the pillow Zzzzz.
I still fall asleep meditating sometimes. That’s why I typically do it lying down right before a nap. Don’t be afraid to break some “rules” to get your mind where you want it to be.
I could go on and on about this topic. And, I have in my other video I mentioned earlier. So, if you want some more, in 2018, I put out, Killing the Monkey in Your Mind. It talks about the different kinds of thoughts that we have and how to deal with worrying about forgetting things. There’s a YouTube video here: Killing the Monkey Video
And a link to the blog post where you can download a PDF of the text version here: Killing the Monkey In Your Mind
Do you want to hear my perspective on something in particular? I have over 70 videos now on the channel. Feel free to comment what you’d like me to discuss and I’ll let you know if it already exists, and if not, I’ll add it to my “make” list.
Where it got me… by spending the last two years really getting control of my mind I achieved MORE headspace for the good stuff, more good ideas popping into my quiet mind out of nowhere, more ability to be there for others, more ability to NOT take on the emotions, opinions, judgments of others, more self-confidence, more peace and calm. It’s been a total win-win, 5 for 5 highly recommend. I didn’t have any special training, a friend to hold my hand or even instructions. I just stayed tenacious, insisting each time that brain have a nice big glass of shut up.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I appreciate you immensely. If you want more tips and tricks on quieting your mind, comment below and I’ll go into more detail. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so now while you’re thinking about it 😉 Make it a great day warriors, the choice is always YOURS