Confused Thinking, Crazy Mind, Messed Up Perception
(San Jose, California, USA)
I have been having extremely confusing thoughts since the last two years. First, I couldn't sleep. Then, I kept asking myself - "why can't I sleep?". That muddled me even more. Then I started thinking I must have done something wrong because of which I am not able to sleep. Now, I have reached a stage where it is very difficult for me to fall asleep AND I just can't control my mind! Nothing really big has happened to unsettle me like this. Then why have I gone from normal to crazy? I am more nervous than ever. Please help!Answer
I really thought about your problem for some time. From what I have understood, you are facing two main problems:
1) You are not able to fall asleep at night.
2) You feel confused, lost in all sorts of thoughts, muddled all the time.
The way you have described it, the problem does indeed appear to be serious. Clearly there is something wrong and you are very disturbed. I can see that.
Honestly, I think we'll have to go a bit deeper to understand what is troubling you better. At first glance, it is difficult to make a judgement and say "this is what is wrong."
Here are some ways however, in which things can get better for you. Atleast one of the methods can work for you.
1) Consult a psychiatrist/psychologist. I know this is standard advice but really, there could be a deeper issue related to your restlessness that needs to be addressed. For example, it could be that some incident in the past is still troubling you sub-consciously. Or maybe you are extremely unhappy with the way your life is going but you are intensely denying that this is so. A thorough session with a psychologist can help you explore parts of you that may be repressed.
2) Another thing that may be happening is that you may still be quite normal (mentally) but you might be confused and restless out of habit. Maybe, because of excessive worrying becoming a habit, you are just worrying again and again without a cause? If that is so, then a certain meditation called "Who Am I?" meditation may help. It helped me once when I was very restless and muddled.
Lie down on the bed, close your eyes and try to relax. You will feel restless initially, that is OK. Now, take 3-4 deep breaths. As you take these breaths try hard to focus on the physical sensation of air going in, and air coming out. Now ask yourself - "who am I?". This might seem to be a weird question but keep asking. You might here answers like "Of course I am Vincent." Keep probing. Ask - am I the body? Am I these thoughts? What emotion am I feeling? Am I this emotion? Keep asking - who am I? until you really....experience the answer for a moment. You will suddenly feel peaceful. I know all this sounds weird but it
really worked for me. You can read more about it here
3) Again, if your mind seems to be running haywire for no reason, another way to calm it down can be to get involved in an activity that FORCES you to focus your thoughts. What is something that interests you but you have not pursued in a long time? Learning dance? Playing Scrabble? Developing an app? The point is - choose a small hobby for a while and absolutely lose yourself in it. Forget about the passing of time and completely involve yourself in the class. LOSE yourself. Our mind keeps chattering when we're idle but it becomes much more of an ally when we focus it somewhere.
4) Yet another idea IF your mind just can't seem to calm down is to read the book, The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle. This book is about stilling the mind, going beyond it and observing it. The book talks about how our mind generally chatters away all the time but how we are actually much more than this chattering mind. It lists some good techniques to calm the mind. The book helped me a lot at one time when I was very depressed and sad myself.
5) Many times, we are muddled, confused and sad because of many limiting beliefs that we have. For example, in 2007, I had some beliefs like "I suck. I am nothing. Others are so much better than me." But the interesting part is that I did not even know that I had such beliefs! Ask yourself - "do I have any negative beliefs that I keep repeating to myself everyday?". Write down a list of such beliefs. Now, write down the opposite of those beliefs. For example, the opposite of "I suck" is "I rock". Keep repeating these opposite beliefs again and again in your head consciously. For example, keep saying "I rock!" again and again in your head. Immerse yourself in this new belief. You might feel better.
Well, those were many methods you could try. However, if nothing works, then as I said earlier, consulting a psychologist could be a good idea. Sometimes, our mind gets so muddled and messed up that we are not able to calm it ourselves. In such cases, there is nothing wrong in consulting another person who will help. So, yes, you could try the above methods and if they don't work, consult a psychologist.
Also, there might be a deep issue underneath that you may be denying or resisting. Is that so? Is there a loss, or a sad event or a problem that you are denying? Are you hiding something deep in your heart? That could also be a reason for restlessness. And in that case a psychologist can be the best person to consult.
Well, in any case, all the best to you. I am sending you happy wishes right now in this moment. :)Go back and read more questions and answers or ask your question.