Have you ever gotten into the car, and driven halfway to your destination realizing that you’ve been driving in silence the whole time? Believe it or not, this happens to me quite often. Once I hit the road, I quickly lose myself in my thoughts and decompress from the day. Its like my car is this safety bubble where I can shut the world out and truly be alone with my thoughts. I think it’s true that we all have places where we do our best thinking. I find that it’s rare when I can find a period of time to let my mind wander and let my best thoughts bubble to the surface.
I often wonder why it is that this is hard to come by, and why letting my mind wander is something that I don’t even notice happening until it ends. It’s in these times, however, that some of my biggest and best thoughts rise to the surface. What I’m sharing today are my favorite places to lose myself in thought. These aren’t necessarily intentional choices, but places where I happen to find myself thinking all the good thoughts.
IN THE CAR
I dare you to this: When you get in your car, don’t immediately plug your phone in and open Spotify, don’t turn on the radio, and take this drive in silence. For me, this usually happens by accident, so it doesn’t seem too weird because I don't notice it. There are times, however, when I intentionally keep my car quiet, because sometimes any noise is just too loud, and I use that time to clear my head. It can be uncomfortable, but the less you think about it, the easier it will get.
Yes, yes, I know I just said to turn the music off, but hear me out!! There are so many times, when music can be used to block out any ambient noise. I read an article one time on how your mind works when it listens to something familiar, over and over again. If you listen to music that you are familiar with, you aren’t really taking in any new information, and your brain doesn’t have to focus on what you’re listening to, because you’ve listened to it so many times before. Again, this is something I happen to do, because I am not the biggest music guru, so I’m often listening to the same songs that I’ve been listening to for years. I like to listen to those oldies-but-goodies when I paint, because I want my brain to have every opportunity it can to achieve maximum efficiency when I'm in front of the canvas.
I talked about my morning routine on Monday, and this somewhat relates to what I just talked about with listening to music. The morning routine I have set up for myself is a time when my brain can wander, because my actions are nearly muscle memory. There isn’t anything new, exciting or distracting in this time, so my brain has a chance to flex its muscles.
AS I’M FALLING ASLEEP
This, THIS, is the most difficult moment to catch. If I am able to catch my thoughts before I’m fast asleep, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I used to struggle with falling asleep, because my thoughts were too loud, and I couldn’t get them to hush. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to fall asleep quicker, but I still find that my thoughts sometimes have the last word. I try to catch these thoughts before I fall completely asleep and jot them down in my Notes app, because once the morning comes, I can’t quite grasp what it was that I had on my mind. Sometimes these thoughts are epic, other times they make no sense. Either way, my semi-conscious thoughts are always interesting.
While these are the places and practices that help me think the best, they are by no means the only ways that I can get my mind working. My best thinking usually happens not when I force it, but when I set myself up with the least amount of barriers to creative thought. Thanks, and happy thinking!