Train Your Brain Like You Train Your Body
I've written before that I'm a big fan of mindfulness, and I notice that it's beginning to seep into the public consciousness as awareness increases. That can only be a good thing.
There are several aspects to it, and for me a key one is around training your brain to recognize when it's entering or caught in an unhelpful thought pattern. Becoming lost in unhelpful thoughts is unproductive and can be dangerous. I'm not an expert on mental health issues but I have personal experience of them. I should say that 'unhelpful thoughts' are individual and personal, so you can decide what I mean by that.
I've found that spotting an unhelpful thought pattern and stopping it before it takes hold is a powerful skill which can transform your life.
And it is a skill. Like any skill, it can be taught, learned and practiced. And the more you practice, the better you become. And the more it becomes your natural behaviour; a habit, if you like.
Here's an analogy to bring it to life. Let's say you want to improve your balance, so you go to the gym and practice on a wobble board* every day. Just 5 minutes a day. A month later, you are pretty good on the wobble board, and can stay balanced for a minute or two with no problem. Which is great if anyone challenges you to a wobble board balancing contest, you're in with a good chance of winning.
Then one day you are walking down the street and catch your foot on a raised paving stone. Rather than toppling over and hitting the ground hard, as many people do, your instinct kicks in, you are able to regain your balance and avoid injury. Thanks to your training.
Mindfulness works in the same way. You practice and practice in a controlled environment (e.g. daily meditation) and then, out in the world, when you need it, your training kicks in and helps you avoid injury.
I hope it makes sense to you. It's a deep topic and there's much more to discuss and understand. Practice made a real difference to me. Please get in touch if you want to find out more.
Good luck with your brain training.
* a device used in gyms and by physiotherapists to improve balance, and retrain balance after injury