All of us, even the most emotionally and spiritually healthy, have our own version of crazy thoughts that crop up throughout the day.
For some, it’s thoughts of worry or fear. For others, it’s thoughts of self-consciousness, perfectionism, or martyrdom. You call it crazy and we’ll fall in a rabbit hole of thought over it.
If thoughts occurred in a vacuum our proclivity for crazy wouldn’t be nearly as harmful. As it is, these crazy thoughts, left untended to, manifest themselves by way of unwise communications, unloving behavior, short tempers, and much worse.
On some level, the tendency towards obsessive, paranoid, rueful thoughts are what make us human; Hey, it’s okay! We all do it!” On another, they are the baseline versions of ourselves we are fully capable of rising above–that ability being what makes us the miraculous species we are.
It is essential that each of us daily do what we need to in order to abate our crazy. For each of us the practice may be different, and for all of us it isn’t a guarantee; we can’t be certain that our practice will obliterate all of our crazy thoughts and corresponding crazy actions, but we can count on the fact that it will help. Whatever brings us back to center is what we must do because it’s the best chance we stand at being our best selves, for ourselves, and for each other.
For me, exercise is it. I must have movement in my day if I am to stand any chance at being my best self. Without the movement, the sweaty hair, the red face, the bad music, I am not as much the person you’d like to meet as with those things. Exercise makes a profound difference in my day, and it is the thing that continually helps me to shed any noise I may be carrying around and focus back in on what’s real.
Lots of people count meditation as their centering practice. Others use prayer.
It doesn’t matter what yours is so long as you daily do it: story time with your babe, a walk with your dog, whatever it may be.
Our mental noise is like hunger. It doesn’t work to say, “well, I ate yesterday, so I’m all set today.” Nor does it work to say, “I did something to quiet my mind and ward off my crazy yesterday, so I’m all set today.”
Your responsibility is to clarify what does it for you–what helps keep you on the good path rather than falling down the rabbit hole–and then do it as if your life depends on it because, hi, it does.