We all have that little voice in our heads that is rarely quiet, giving us mental chatter all day long. If you don’t believe it, try this little experiment. Close your eyes for ten seconds and pay close attention to what is going on inside of your head. Perhaps your voice is saying, “This is silly. I don’t have time for this.” Or maybe, “I wonder when ten seconds is up.” Still another is “What little voice? I don’t hear any little voice.” Well, that is the voice.
That little voice can take us anywhere anytime, even during important meetings or conversations with others. Its constant chatter tells us how things should be, how they once were, or it makes observations beyond where we are at the moment. Sometimes it even takes you away to a tropical island somewhere when you are unwilling to face the current situation. At times that little voice can get us into a bit of trouble when our mind wanders away and we miss important details. It can get in the way of effective communication and can even irritate others in the fact that we have mentally walked away from them.
It is important to quiet that voice at times in order for you to be more creative and aware of your surroundings. To get back to where you are you have to learn to focus on the here and now. Thoughts have a life of their own, and try to keep it that way. It is pointless to fight your thoughts with force, because the harder you try the harder they fight back. If you doubt this, try NOT thinking of a pink elephant right now. Strange image, isn’t it? Since you have that image in your mind, you can recognize that you have left the here and now and that you need to come back.
Concentrate on something in the room that you are in, like your desk, what someone else is wearing, or the temperature of the room. In noticing where you are, you come back to where you are and quiet that little voice that keeps taking you away. You are better able to return to the task at hand. Different thoughts will keep coming back, but simply notice them and let them go. Remember that you can be nowhere else but where you are.
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Photo credit: Inger Maaike