Saturday, April 24, 2010

30 minutes of nothing

Today I completed an assignment for a psychology of Adjustment course called 30 minutes of nothing. It is exactly what it sounds like. The idea is that you confine yourself to an area where you will have no interactions with other people, while doing absolutely nothing. No texting, phone calls, reading, music, ect. Set a timer and just observe yourself. How does your body feel, are you relaxed, do you feel tense and fidgety? What is going on in your mind? How do you feel during this time, do you like this?

When I began the experiment I felt tense. I could only think of all the other things I could be doing, but after a while I began to relax. I began to consider what is taking place in my mind. I tried to keep my mind from racing, but it seemed to be impossible. I kept telling myself to just stop thinking about the same things over and over. I was annoyed with the fact that I just couldn't convince myself to stop.
The most noticeable aspect was that I tend to be in a constant battle inside my head. I question myself about every mental process. I wonder why I think and feel the way I do. I wonder why I don't feel differently than I do. There is something in Personality Psychology known as Self-Monitoring which is the extent to which a person keeps track of their mental and physical state. I score high on this measure which plays out much like having a mental commentator doing a play by play, running each mental process through some form of analysis. I question every thought for motive and any deeper meaning behind each thought. Some who read this may think I am neurotic, which is true. Some may think that I am thoughtful, which is also true.

The main conclusion is that I need to trust my instincts, accept my thoughts and feelings as valid. I need not rely on others to validate me. This task is not simple, but it can be done. If I can bring any encouragement to anyone I would say try the 30 minutes of nothing. Know thy self. Trust thy self. Love thy self. Otherwise you are no good for anybody including you.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I totally know what this is like. I meditate sometimes, and it's kind of surreal how unnecessary it is to entertain and/or occupy your time with an activity almost every moment of the day. When I meditate, I notice first how my mind is so difficult to control, but then, as I relax more, the thoughts become random, but I do the same thing and obsess over their meaning.

    I'm always faced with the same question at the end of meditation...why do I keep thinking about the bullshit I think about?