Hello Wild One,
Let me start by saying that we all ride the crazy train from time to time so if you find yourself on it, don't freak out. It doesn't mean you're a bad person or that you've messed up somehow or that none of the personal growth work you've been doing is actually working.
It just means you're human.
Now let's get clear on exactly what I mean by crazy train. I'm talking about the noise in your head -- that stream of incessant chattering that is always talking to you -- the train of thoughts that runs whether you want it to or not.
And when you're on that train, those noisy thoughts are taking you for a ride!
Here are 5 Signs You're All Aboard the Crazy Train:
1. You're insecure. You feel small and powerless, you're questioning yourself and your abilities, you don't feel like showing up and participating, your sense of confidence is gone. This often looks like procrastination. Possible thoughts: I can't, I don't know how, I'm not good enough.
2. You're losing your shit. Your fuse is short and you're ready to blow. You know you shouldn't be so easily upset but you are. It feels challenging to deal with people. People are dumb. Possible thoughts: I can't help it, it's not my fault, you're wrong.
3. You're so tired. You don't want to get out of bed, you need substantial amounts of caffeine to keep going and you're counting down the hours until bedtime. (Note: this could also be a sign of physical/mental illness and if it's prolonged you should seek professional help). Possible thoughts: It's so hard, I can't do it, I don't want to, I need help.
4. Everything is wrong! Your partner is a jerk, your kids are brats and your job sucks. It feels like you can't catch a break or get ahead. Your life seems to be one big problem. Possible thoughts: It's not fair, if only they would ____, nothing works out for me, it shouldn't be this way
5. Your body hurts. Your shoulders are tight, your lower back aches, your knees are sore, your digestion is off. Your body is speaking to you and it's saying that something is out of balance. Possible thoughts: There's not enough time, I have to do everything myself, I'm not safe.
At the moment you WAKE UP to the fact that your thoughts are taking you for a ride, you're halfway to freedom. Awareness is a vital and a potent first step.
But awareness without aligned action will only get you so far.
You have to make a move!
5 Ways to Step Off the Train and Reclaim Your Power:
1. Slow Down (Literally). Physically slowing down your pace can help you slow down your thoughts which will allow you to begin working with them. Try walking at 75% of the speed you normally would. Inject tiny pauses throughout your day like when you first wake up, before you put your car in drive or each time you wash your hands. Just stop for a moment and take a mindful breath before moving on.
2. Question Your Thoughts. Your thoughts and emotions are the fuel that drives the train. It feels crazy because the thoughts you're paying attention to are mostly noise. They say things like, you don't know what you're doing, you need to try harder, there's no time, I can't do it, no one appreciates me, and all kinds of other nonsense that's just not true. Bring awareness to the specific thoughts that you're having and begin to question them. Often it can be enough to ask, is this true? For further support on questioning your thoughts, watch my series on Beliefs or reference The Work by Byron Katie.
3. Share your Experience. It can be incredibly powerful to get your experience out of your own head and into a conversation with someone. When our stories are heard and validated they soften and lose some charge. Just be mindful that you reach out to someone that will support you to get off the train and not someone who will jump right on it with you!
4. Move your body. You're on the crazy train because you're stuck in your head and listening to all that noise. Period. One of the quickest ways to quiet the noise in your head is to move your body. Take a walk in nature, put on some music and dance or shake (seriously, shaking can change your life!), go to the gym or have sex. Find a way to get INTO your body in a real, tangible way. Need some movement inspiration? Access a free dance playlist here.
5. Fill your own bucket. There are lots of conversations about self-care these days and for good reason. It's challenging to share your love and your gifts with the world when you're running on empty. Taking the time to give yourself what you need is not a luxury. It's an absolute necessity if you want to live your most creative, fulfilled and self-expressed life (and I assume you do because you're here). Filling your own bucket can look all kinds of ways (not just bubble baths and massages although those are great too!) Maybe it's signing up for that class you've been wanting to take, going to the movie by yourself or getting lost in a library. Whatever you do, you must find ways to nourish your own soul and fill your energetic bucket.
I hope this supports you to more quickly recognize when you're being taken for a ride and to step off that crazy train with more ease than ever before.
p.s. Check out this 4-minute meditation for Stepping Out of Overwhelm.