tune out distractions

Tuning Out

Have you ever been subjected to terrible music playing over a business sound system?  If so, you know that you are unable to control the music. How can you tune out the distraction? You can always walk out.  But what if there is something you need to accomplish and you do not want to leave until the task is finished?

The thousands of random thoughts that pass through your mind each day are similar to that sound system.  You have no control over what comes in. You can try to replace the undesirable thoughts with something more appealing, or try to affirm the thoughts away, but those options entail a lot of work on your part and the results are questionable.

Everyone experiences challenges.

Everyone experiences bumps in the road of life.  Sometimes we can control what happens to, or around us, but most of the time, that is not the case.  Co-workers, bosses, spouses, children, friends, parents, and others, are unpredictable, and the things they do, touch our lives.  The people we are closest to, seem to have the power to disrupt an otherwise pleasant day. So how can anyone keep their peace of mind when the boss is being unfair, money is tight, your health is challenged, or relationship issues sabotage your happiness?

What happened to the awful music?

Let’s go back to the terrible music playing in the background of a business.   Have you noticed, that after a while, you don’t even hear the music any more. You didn’t do anything.  You didn’t change the station or turn the volume down. You simply stopped paying attention to the music.  It required no effort at all on your part.

The same process works with our thoughts.  If you are feeling unhappy, angry, frustrated, or disturbed in any way, that is your feelings telling you that your thoughts are not in a good place.

Thoughts work the same way.

The best way to banish disturbing thoughts, is to wait for them to move on. Thoughts are transient, they appear out of nowhere and  disappear when you don’t give attention to them. All you have to do is wait. If you don’t grab onto the thoughts and examine them, the thoughts will be replaced with more thoughts.  Eventually, your mind will settle and you will feel more calm and less overwhelmed. It’s exactly like tuning out obnoxious background noise.

Take action if you know what to do next.

That does not necessarily mean that you should sit on the sofa and do nothing. If it occurs to you to take a particular action, do that.  If nothing occurs to you to do, then sitting on the sofa, going for a walk or taking a nap, might be just what you need to help you clear your mind.  A calm, clear state of mind, is the perfect environment for creative solutions.

When our mind is revved up, we feel overwhelmed, hopeless, fearful or angry.  We become a ball of tight nerves and our mind is frantically spinning. It’s not likely that we can help ourselves, or anyone else when we are in that state of mind.

Tuning out can help you stay calm so you can think clearly.

Sometimes, there is nothing we can do about a situation.  When that is the case, we have to trust that life is unfolding as it should.  We can’t predict the future, we don’t have all the answers, and we can’t fix every problem even when we care deeply for the people involved.  Sometimes, it’s best to tune out the noise and wait to see what occurs to us out of the quiet.

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