The mind is always occupied.
We’re always thinking about the next thing. It could be feeling anxious about the future, worrying about how other people would react to us — or even worse, imagining scenarios in the future where everything goes wrong.
If you lay everything out on paper, the mind can actually look like a garbage dump. There is constant chatter — our fears, anxiety, worries pile up to the point where we feel extremely overwhelmed.
Quick Tip: Don’t live inside your head.
Our society is at fault here.
The modern-day sedentary and exploitative lifestyle not only leads to a polluted mind, but to obesity, depression and crippling anxiety.
Although the Internet has plenty of benefits, it can be incredibly toxic.
When we’re constantly surrounded by distractions and an overload of information, it’s almost impossible to filter through the junk and see things clearly.
That’s why it’s so easy feel lost.
Movements like minimalism and essentialism have come about due to the toxic environment we live in, and which both promote eliminating distractions for more mental clarity.
Minimalism is the process of identifying what is essential in your life and eliminating the rest.
Essentialism, similar to minimalism, is the art of discerning between external noise and internal voice. It’s narrowing down your priorities.
When you lack clarity or feel lost, the best thing to do is to be alone without any distractions.
My Solo Trip To A Deserted Island
One day, I decided to pack a beach bag and take a ferry to a deserted island in Greece. All I knew was that I wanted to be alone, and be close to the sea. I wanted to only hear the sound of my own thoughts and the calming waves. I was going through a lot at the time, and all I wanted to do was escape from the noise.
There was nothing that could distract me: no people, no messages, no emails, no signal, no calls.
I was completely alone and enjoyed every moment exploring a new island.
I sat on a rock, closed my eyes, and let my worries drift off into the breeze. After that day, I came back to the city with an immense sense of clarity and feeling of peace. I knew that deep down, I cultivated a sense of awareness of my own thoughts.
Modern life strips us of this feeling of calm and peacefulness due to the constant distractions in our career, social life and on the Internet.
What To Do When You Feel Lost or Anxious
- Dedicate a time once every day for yourself. Shut down your gadgets and go into a space where there is no noise nor distractions. This should be your stress-free environment where you can close your eyes in complete silence and listen to your thoughts.
- Plan a weekend or a day away from the city for yourself. Book a vacation somewhere remote, or go on a hike. As long as it is close to nature.
- Do an Internet detox. This could be for a few weeks or months, but make sure that it doesn’t interfere with your career. Read about my Instagram detox here.
- Practice awareness. Catch yourself if you’re worrying about things in the future, or if you’re living too much in the past. Try to be in the present moment as much as you can. This way, you are practicing to empty your mind.
- Journal your thoughts. When you journal daily, you will become aware of your own thought patterns. Watch for any signs of repetitive thinking and start to change.
Conquering others take force.
Conquering yourself is true strength.
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Originally published at https://chloelingmason.com on December 11, 2019.