So, you get home from a hard day’s work, the kids have sorted themselves out, dinner is already in the oven and you have nothing left to do apart from chill out and relax. No stress, worries or nagging voices – just that nice complete calmness and clear head we all enjoy every evening.
Our minds are like those traditional glass goldfish bowls. Ideally the water would be clear and fresh with well-arranged decorations and a couple of goldfish swimming around enjoying the tranquillity of it all. If we had clear minds and no distractions, this is what it would be like. But in reality, the water is cloudy, the decorations have green stuff growing on them and the fish are as relaxed as a dog while the postman is knocking at the door, because daily life gets in the way.
To continue the analogy, let’s consider anger and frustration: these emotions would be like an injection of strong red dye into the water, which taints and covers everything in the fishbowl. They colour all our thoughts and actions.
Then you have the lingering worries – like little bits of purple dye that are injected in small doses from all angles, eventually the water grows more and more purple-coloured as worries and doubts permeate your whole mind. Bad memories, resentments and frustrations could be seen as browns and greys which, just like worries, come from all angles and stick around making everything muddy and opaque.
The more colours are added, the stronger and darker they become, the more mixed and spread out they get, until eventually you end up with a fishbowl so cloudy and disgusting with almost black water, it is no wonder you can’t think straight. With all that going on you can hardly function at all, let alone deal with whichever situation you need to deal with at the time.
There are many things you can do like yoga, tai chi, or meditation. But let’s be realistic, who has the time to take up another daily activity? I suppose you could give up your job and your social life and become a monk, because without doing mindfulness exercises regularly you are not going to be able to clear your mind and live a free and spiritual life where you’re at peace with yourself and nature. No – what we need is something quick and simple that is going clean up that mental fishbowl and wash away all the dirt and dye so we can actually get on with our lives.
I have an extremely fast and very effective technique for ‘clearing the water’ almost instantly.
When you have all these internal voices shouting from all directions, vying for your attention, causing you to worry about things or doubt yourself, then sit back, take a deep breath and say (either in your mind or out loud): “Go for it, I’m listening.”
You will almost instantly clear your mind of all those nagging voices, as if the sudden attention gave them stage-fright and shut them up. Of course this is very temporary, but it works, and it’ll give you some time to make progress in your life, or work on solving some of those nagging problems!
Try it now. “Go for it, I’m listening…”
Updated for 2023