Why We All Need Thinking Time


I’ve noticed a new trend within the wellness/lifestyle blogging world lately and it’s all about ‘thinking time’. The idea is that most of us don’t actually give ourselves time to think – to wonder, to let our minds drift, or to even get bored. With the constant multi-tasking that we’ve grown immune to (or that our minds have), we rarely have time when we’re not doing SOMETHING – other than when we’re asleep.

Meditation is definitely one of the ways to give our minds this much-needed break, but some people still find that you are then forcing your mind to do something (or basically thinking about not thinking or being conscious of letting thoughts pass). People who successfully meditate can usually get past this point, but some struggle.

So when do we have time to actually let our mind wander? I was intrigued by the thought of thinking time so I looked at my own life. I realized that when I’m in the shower (usually a great time to think…so we think), I have music or a podcast going. When I’m on walks, usually same thing. When I’m cleaning the house, same thing. When I’m driving, you guessed it! If anything, I’ll only have super short windows to…think.

I truly didn’t have any time (other than trying to fall asleep, when I’m trying to wind down, or going to the bathroom) that I was doing nothing. I didn’t give my mind much time to wander, to dream about big business plans, to think about how I really felt about a situation – at least not while also doing something else (watching TV, listening to a podcast or music, etc.)

So I’m attempting to bring in this thinking time into my life. I like doing it when I’m feeling anxious or when I know something needs to be solved that I’ve been putting off. All it involves is NOT filling my head with outside sources at all times. I tried walking without my phone and though I was truly kinda bored, by the end of the walk, I felt so much lighter – and more intentional with my day.

I’ve also heard of people literally scheduling time to sit at their desk and to stare out the window, which works too. Or maybe you think in the shower without talking to your spouse or kids at the same time, or without singing along to songs.

Let me know if you give it a try…or if you already do this and think the idea of scheduling this in sounds crazy, ha!

 

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5 comments

  1. I totally agree. Lately I have been trying to fight this instinct to fill random bits of time or do 2 things at once: not to play podcasts while cooking as I used to but to really let that time be meditative and focused on the task at hand; not to pull out my phone and mindlessly check email for the 100th time while I wait for an appointment or my coffee order, walk to and from the subway, etc. Instead I have started counting how many people around me are glued to their screens in those moments with zero awareness of their surroundings, and when you really take a moment to notice, it feels like we are living in a weird sci-fi brainwashing movie or something! It makes me even less likely to grab my phone in down moments but instead to notice what’s going on around me and tune in to my thoughts.

  2. Totally agree. Thinking time is a luxury I think a lot of us avoid. This year in particular, I’ve made an effort to think and spend time with my thoughts…and it’s been very useful. I meditate a few times a week as well, but as you said that time is more about ignoring thoughts. Thinking is a good thing!

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.comq

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