Simply Happy–Taming The Wandering Mind; Or An Exercise In Gratitude

On my way to the gas station Sunday, I turned on NPR and caught the tail end of a TedTalk entitled “Simply Happy“.   The researcher was speaking on the ubiquity of mind wandering and how a wandering mind actually is the cause of unhappiness rather than an effect–that we are happier when we are present in the moment of what we’re engaged in.

God winked. I chuckled.

As a gentle nudge to any and everyone (but particularly those who profess belief in God): life on this earth is fleeting. The most precious commodity you have at any given moment is your thought life. What are you thinking about? And how is it affecting how you feel?

I have been challenging my own invasive cycles of negatively charged thoughts with listing aloud 10 explicit statements of gratitude. The practice (suggested to me by a mentor) seemed so asinine–until I tried it.  I found myself so completely refreshed that now, everytime a remotely anxious or fearful thought prances through the blank spaces in my brain, I now hunt it down and shoot it 10 times with rapid fire gratefulness. The thought dies on the spot, and I am free to reclaim ny momentarily disrupted peace.

In the King James version of the bible, Jesus instructed us to take no thought about what we shuld eat ot wear, using the birds and flowers as an example of creations that don’t worry but live in the present circumstance while fulfilling whatever purpose and assignment they might have. A little further into the New Testament, Paul admonishes us to think on whatever is true, lovely, honest, of good report; and then he speaks on the importance of knocking down every vain thought by subduing it in the mind of Christ.  All of these instructions speak to a mindfulness “discovered” by the researcher on the TedTalk.

So I ask: what are you doing to redirect your thoughts? Because whatever you think, you become.

God just winked at you, too.

 

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. I am very prone to wandering thoughts that keep me from being in the moment. I have to sometimes just consciously remind myself to look around and observe the present moment.

    1. Thanks for reading! Mindful is one of thise skills you gotta practice to make permanent. So much goes on every day that we are overloaded! I am learning to just ride the wave of what is, and be at peace concerning what will be!

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