The Washing Machine: How to Break Out of Repetitive Thought Patterns

“It’s like my mind is in a washing machine”, he says.

“The same thoughts, over and over, round and round and round”.

Ah yes: the internal dialogue spinning out of control.

And no matter how hard you try to take control, stop the thinking, you just can’t.

On and on your mind goes, the same unhelpful (or worse) thoughts you’ve thought a million times before.

Frankly, totally boring.

And nope, trying to combat it won’t help. You can’t muscle into taking control over it.

If you do that, you just feed the demon: the energy you spend fighting it just makes the mind work harder.

Instead, try this:

Be an anthropologist.

A guy or gal like that ventures off into the jungle or the suburbs, and studies what humans do.

And what he or she finds is… curious… odd… interesting… fascinating!

People work like that?

How cool! How utterly, compellingly fascinating.

Take that attitude when observing the workings of your mind, and you don’t have to put up  fight.

You won’t feed the demon, but what you will do: you’ll create distance between You and the mind that you have.

And that distance is important, because come on: you’re not your thoughts.

You just have them, but they don’t define you.

Except when the internal dialogue gets out of control and your mind ends up in the washing machine (ironically, without getting any cleaner) – then it starts to feel like we are our thoughts.

But we’re not, and we’re not meant to be controlled by our thoughts either.

So be the anthropologist in your mind.

Observe the patterns, habits, get curious.

For me, it’s a fun game: “What… I seriously spend this much time thinking the same boring stuff, persistently not reaching any conclusion or solution?

“What nonsense. On with my day”.

And SNAP. Mind domination tackled, and I’m free to actually do stuff and think creatively.

Try it.

Be the anthropologist.

Cheerio,

Martin


Also published on Medium.

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