When I first meet clients at Know How, one of the first things I ask is: What does your ideal life look like to you? And usually, they can’t answer. They have no clarity of what they want to achieve and why. Like me, they struggle with the constant chattering of the mind that stops them seeing the true picture. If you can’t get your mental house in order, how can you get clarity on what you want to achieve? I really think it’s the scourge of our always-on, inter-connected world and lives.
I brought this up with my recent guest on the Get Invested podcast, psychological and behavioural therapist, and author, Amber Hawken. She had some very salient insights.
What people have to keep in mind is that “you’re purchasing your life with your attention… Where you’re investing your mind, your emotions and, externally, your money, your relationships, everything, every tiny micro-decision of where your attention and energy goes is what you get back… When you get that, when you own that responsibility, then you own your magic, then you can do whatever you want.” Amber says.
Now, if that doesn’t give you a sense of why it’s so important to slow down your mind and get a bit of clarity in your life, then I don’t know what will. Here are some practical strategies and tools that Amber recommends:
Make Time For The Mind
The way you can pause your mind is by not trying to turn it off. It’s going to be there forever, so don’t fight it, but do spend more time pausing and simply connecting with your body and breath. “Focusing on your breath, even for three seconds, takes you into your body, into your heart, into feeling, which you can then connect with and go: What’s really happening here?” says Amber.
Check In With Yourself
Find time each day – and throughout the day – to check in with yourself. “This could simply be putting an alarm on your phone to pause 10 times a day. Take a breath and you think where was my mind right then, was it a victim? Was it thinking about the negatives? Was it whingeing about something? Was it complaining?” adds Amber.
Meditate On This
If you think meditation is pure woo-woo, you’re missing out on one of the great tools for both mental and physical health. It’s a great way of slowing the mind down and circumventing our over-addiction to thinking too much. Using an app like the 1 Giant Mind app or the Calm app is an easy way to get started.
Finding clarity is about being conscious of your thoughts and every once in a while, giving yourself a moment to pause, so you can focus on what is really important.
Listen to my entire conversation with Amber here.