Do you know the little hamster? We all have one. It’s very busy and takes over our mind. When I react strongly to some situations, it’s there! It’s intense and hectic. It doesn’t help us move forward. It treads water. Think about the comments, those that lead to nothing, or the stories we make up to help us go forward. I would like to share with you something that happened to me last week. The perfect example. Thursday morning, while I was carrying my briefcase and my handbag to the car in the garage, I was thinking about an event that happened the previous weekend with my family. I was simply just living it again. I tripped and fell over. Ouch! Between you and me, did it make the previous situation any better? No. I wasn’t fully enjoying the present moment. I wasn’t there anymore! And on top of it, it wasn’t getting me anywhere! I was going nowhere with this event. If I had been living in the present and had focused on what I was doing, it wouldn’t have happened to me. I can tell you it ruined my entire morning! Do you recognize yourself? What specific actions can I take? What is the trigger that should be identified in all this?
One must develop a vigilant awareness of his own thoughts at all times. We must manage to recognize our hamster’s voice, we must be aware that our attention is diverted by our own ruminations. When it starts, you’ve got to learn to say stop!
We can stop the machine by doing something else. Let’s take a sheet of paper and write down everything that goes through our mind, without any restraint. Let the hamster run until it’s exhausting, until the end of our scenario, in order for us to be ready for the present and all possible options. I often tell my clients to concentrate on their own breathing once the hamster has gone. Did you know that the more we ruminate, the more cortisol we produce and the less clearly we think? For five minutes, let’s only think about the now, concrete things, pay attention to smells or to the colors of the landscape, or even go for a walk. Take a break from your hamster.