Learning To Not Think, If Only For A Few Seconds

My mind has always been a chattering, inquisitive place. Always thinking, mulling things over, planning, wondering. Often that's a wonderful thing. But not always. Two years back I got trapped over and over again in a downward spiral of uncontrollable thoughts, taking me in minutes from a happy functioning person to a deep black spot of hopelessness. It was shocking how fast my thoughts could spiral out of control.

Perhaps foolishly, but a common thing in our society, I did not seek medical help, but I did receive as a gift from a dear person a book about depression, and there was a gem of wisdom in there that pulled me out of the vicious cycle: learning how to not think, if only for a few seconds.

It took time, but eventually I learned in the split seconds as I started to fall to that dark place how to simply not think for a few moments. How to give my mind a pause. And somehow, mysteriously, that made all the difference. It broke the chain. It might not have solved the issue at hand, but it kept me from falling down into a place where I could not function. I am profoundly grateful for that.
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3 Responses May 26, 2011

Thank you!! That is great food for thought. I will give that a go =)

I love the holding your breath analogy. A lot of people I know right now are into meditation and I am trying it but the flood of mental chatter rises to a fever pitch every time I sit down - it's very demoralizing. I am persisting, though - it's been 2 months. The practice of letting my thoughts exist but not following them - very hard, very hard for me to do.

It really is a pain in the arse trying not to think too much. It keeps me awake at night =/ What did you do to calm the thoughts?