Mind Wandering

If I am doing something with my hands and there isn’t a book I’m listening to or a TV show that I’m watching, I’m most likely lost in my mind, off somewhere in another time. Even if music is on.

I have a wandering mind.

Most of the time, I’m trying to prepare myself for some future conflict that I bet I’ll have to deal with. I’m imagining how I can stand up for myself in certain situations. I come up with the best ways to defend myself, sometimes with making the other person look bad.

I have done this for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I use this ability to fall asleep. I have different things I let my mind wander to based on what I’m doing, what I want, or even my mood.

I have always called it daydreaming, but when I think of dreaming, I think of good things. My mind doesn’t always bring up situations that are good. As a kid, I used to dream of running away and starting a better life. I would even dream that I ran away, hitchhiked to the interstate, and found my way to a place where I could start making money while I started a better life. As I got older, it would be about guys and them telling me they loved me and us starting a life together.

For most of my adult life, I would dream of all things revolving around children and having my own. I had everything planned out in these dreams. My mind would wander to the best and the worst things that could happen. Once I started on my personal growth journey, most of what my daydreams would produce was me envisioning a better life. But I always come back to wandering to the place of defending myself in situations with specific people. Always.

Mel Robbins said, “Mind-wandering is actually the cause, not the consequence, of unhappiness.”

When I saw this phrase, I immediately snapped to all the mind-wandering I do. Oh, how she is so very right.

If I look at the majority of the mind-wandering I do today, most of it isn’t about happy things. Defending myself is not a happy situation. It means there is conflict. Whether the conflict is entirely internal or true conflict with a person, I am envisioning the unhappy situations around it.

My mind is focusing on the negative.

When we focus on the negative, we see more and more of the negative in our lives. We stop seeing the good. I am causing myself unhappiness every time I let my mind wander to these situations. I need to and am going to, flip that switch. No more focusing on these potential situations of conflict. I am going to start focusing on my dreams and making those come true. Including all of the hard work that will go into making those dreams happen.

Will it be easy to flip the switch? No. Will I occasionally fall back into old habits? Probably. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

We all need more happiness in our lives. It starts from within. We choose what we focus on.

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