In my last post about taking ten minutes of silence I said that I would give you guys an update on whether anything has changed since I’ve been doing it and, well, things sort of have changed, if only a little.
I must admit, I haven’t been taking ten minutes of silence every day; some days I get home late from work and I’m just absolutely nakkered, and slumping in front of the TV and eating junk with a nice cuppa seems a lot more satisfying than sitting in silence for ten minutes, but on the days that I do do it, I find it really relaxing.
In the book that I told you guys about before, Andy Puddicombe talked about how your thoughts are like cars going along a road: we become mentally stressed by constantly trying to control the traffic. When a good thought comes along, we try and chase after it and hold on to it, but it always goes too fast for us and it disappears, and when a bad thought comes along, we get in front of that car and try to stop it from moving, which never works (trying to stop a moving car? Yeah, not a good idea). So the only way we can get a hold on our thoughts is to sit at the side of the road and watch them go by – the good and the bad ones.
I know it all sounds a bit new-agey, but trust me, it’s not. You don’t need to walk around wearing special crystals.
I tried doing this one day and I was surprised to find that it worked. I felt a lot calmer just sitting back and observing my thoughts as they came and went. Of course the next day my thoughts turned into a car crash again, but I think that the more I do it, the easier it’ll become.
The book also explains that the meaning of getting headspace is that even when you experience a negative emotion, you still have that certain part of you that knows that everything will be OK. This has definitely helped me a lot. I remember when I was getting seriously down one time: I had too much work to do in a job I hated, I had no money (well, that part is still ongoing) and I felt like I was getting nowhere near where I wanted to be professionally (another part that’s still ongoing). But despite all that there was a part of my brain that thought ‘It’ll be OK’. I could even physically feel that part, some clear space in my mind – which sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I felt it.
I still haven’t finished the book, and it’s been a good few weeks since I had ten minutes of silence, but when I get a bit further into the book I’ll give you guys another update. However, until then I do recommend just taking time out to observe your thoughts and watch them come and go – it really does help you to control them.