Do you make shopping lists? Do you use your calendar for planning? Or do you otherwise tend to write down your thoughts? Good! Writing things down can help you become more mindful and consciously aware.
When we write things down, we clear our minds. I make shopping lists, not because I can’t remember what to buy, but because I choose to pay my attention to things outside my mind instead of inside whenever it is possible. In other words, I choose to be mindful and present in my life.
It is a fact that our working memory does not have an infinite capacity. So, if we try hard to remember something, it takes all our attention or capacity. In fact, we often try hard to remember things that we don’t need to remember, as we can write them down instead, and for this reason, we stress ourselves to a degree that is unnecessary.
When we try to remember something, our minds tend to wander, and then we become absent from the present moment. This makes us incapable of experiencing all the aspects of life that exist only in the present moment (read: are you mind full or mindful?).
Taken together, writing things down is a really simple and effective way of becoming more mindful that I highly recommend. We cannot be in our “heads” and in the present at the same time. To illustrate this fact: Try to memorize a newly acquired telephone number and have a conversation at the same time. It’s simply impossible.
So, why not find a pen and a piece of paper and get on with it? This writing technique can be used for many purposes, but you may benefit from it the most when you feel like your mind is overloaded.
For example, when you worry, write down your worries. When you plan ahead, write down a specific plan. When you are anxious, write down what you are anxious about. When you feel stressed, write down your stress factors. When you feel depressed, write down what troubles you, and so on.
Remember to be specific when you write down your thoughts. You may find that being specific is an exercise in itself, but everything gets so much easier to deal with when it is specific and when it appears on a paper.
Thanks for your attention – it’s really appreciated.