Runaway Mind is when we get so caught up in a stream of thinking, that we have no idea what is happening in the present moment. Our mind starts leapfrogging from one thought to another gaining speed each time. Usually in a catastrophic snowball effect where our minds imagine bad things occurring…’when my boss finds out that I did X and then the team suffers and then and then’ through to ‘my god the train looks like it will be late, and if it’s late than I will piss off the client as I won’t make the meeting and then this will happen and that and then and then’. When we have Runaway Mind, we’re robbed of the present moment and what it has to offer. We create stress and tension in our minds and nervous systems that has to be worked out as some stage. Essentially it’s fear based and made up by our imagination that loves playing this game. It’s a recipe for disaster yet so easy to do and most of the time we don’t even know we’re doing it. It just becomes a mental habit.
All it takes is practice to over come it. Meditation helps immensely with naturally curbing this nasty little habit, and you can layer it up with a little tool to completely eliminate it.
COME BACK TO YOUR SENSES
Each time you find yourself with a Runaway Mind, stop, handbrake your thinking, take a breath and bring yourself into the present by roll calling through your senses.
what am I seeing (sight)
what am I smelling (smell)
what am I hearing (sound)
what am I tasting (taste)
what am I feeling (touch)
Take at least 5-10 seconds on each, longer if you can, and then go back to whatever task was at hand. After a while, and it can take a long time to retrain your brain on something you might have been doing your whole life, you will catch yourself so fast that when you have Runaway Mind the only thing it will incur is a small giggle from you, as to the ridiculousness of where you were about to speed off to with your your thoughts.