My friend just called. You know, the one with “OCD”?
Well, he’s much better these days but now his mental problems have shifted somewhat. The anxiety and obsessive nature of his thoughts are much less but now he’s just getting “TOO many thoughts!”
An unpleasant way to be
Really, it’s the same solution as in the popular unwanted thoughts article. There has to be space between thoughts and an awareness of being a curious and passive observer of your own thoughts…
If you think about the opposite case — a constant stream of thinking and a sense that “these thoughts are part of me,” then you really have a very unpleasant state of affairs…
Someone once said something really really clever;
“Thought makes a great slave but a terrible master”
…or words to that effect.
The solution is still meditation and he still won’t do it! So, still too slow, but steady progress.
What to do about too many thoughts
Anyway, what to do about too many thoughts? Well, here’s what I do if my mind is racing. Really you just don’t allow it, but that comes with meditation practice and being established as “the curious and passive witness.” But when my thoughts are racing I still use “shhhhhhhh.”
When there’s too much external noise around, you naturally say “shhhh.” So, you can also use it when there’s far too much mental noise going on.
You can say it out loud if you’re on your own or say it mentally. This works a treat. If your mind keeps creating noise then just keep shushing! Don’t allow it!
Interesting things about “shhhh”
Interestingly, “shhhh” is the sound of space, the sound you get when you turn your radio to mid-station. It’s a calming sound and I’ve even known people recommend it to help you get to sleep.
And of course, it’s also the sound we naturally make when babies are upset.
So shut your own mental noise up and get shushing!
Try it for yourself and let me know if it worked for you (or if it didn’t) by leaving me a comment below.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
It’s a simple, no-fluff guide that shows you both what to change and how to change.