Two weeks ago I introduced you to “mental weight”. My definition is an accumulation of those things that “weigh” on your mind.
Some forms of mental weight include the things we worry about, feel anxious towards, or procrastinate on, as well as the unprocessed emotions that we carry. For myself, the mental weight includes my own expectations and judgments.
Remember the visual we discussed of a backpack loaded with bricks. Each brick is a form of our mental weight – habits, old thoughts and beliefs, unresolved emotions.
So what can we do to release some of that mental weight and lighten our load of bricks? Are you ready to take off your backpack?
Step One: Take Off Your Backpack and Take an Honest Look at What’s Inside.
What bricks are actually in there? They will be different for everyone. What bricks do you find in your backpack?
When you take a look, what specific limiting beliefs, judgments, harmful habits, unmanaged thoughts, and ignored emotions do you find?
Treat these bricks like your candy stash at Halloween. Dump everything out – we call this a brain dump or a thought download.
Grab a piece of paper and just start dumping out your brain. You can free write for as long as you like or you can give yourself a prompt and a time limit.
Step Two: Sort Your Bricks (Thoughts)
Once again, just like your Halloween candy, sort everything you find.
What are the bricks worth keeping and enjoying? What are the ones that you are willing to trade? Which thoughts are the ones you can just git rid of altogether?
When sorting your thoughts maybe you make a pile of the “Good People Do X, Y, and Z,” bricks. You can jump into those later when you have some time to explore how and when those came to be.
Or the pile of “Success Comes from Lots of Hard Work” or “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” can be one that you combine with “Things My Parents Wanted for Me”. Maybe you can add in the “I Am not Meant to Be THAT Successful” bricks as well.
Your piles of “I Need to Prove My Worth Through Achievement” bricks and your “I Am Not Worthy of Love” or “If I Do the Right Things They Will Love Me” bricks might be a pile you are not ready to look at yet. That’s okay too.
Just the steps of opening up your backpack and taking a good look at what’s inside can lighten some of the weight it creates.
Step Three: Let Go of the Bricks You Can Let Go of Now
Over the past few years, I have managed to let go of several of my own bricks. The “My Happiness Depends On Those Around Me” and “No One Else Appreciates Me” bricks still show up in my backpack once in a while but when I take the time to notice them I can usually set them aside.
The bricks of “Good Moms Love Playing With Their Kids” and “Time for My Hobbies Takes Away From My Family” are ones I have pretty much let go of. These used to weigh me down considerably, but as both my kids and I have gotten older, I no longer need to carry them.
Step 4: Recognize the Bricks That Remain and Acknowledge Them as They Are.
There are other bricks that I am fully aware of and still choose to carry like “I Shouldn’t Spend Money On Myself” or “I Will Never Be organized”. Even though I cannot fully leave them behind in the present, I know that my awareness of them allows me to move towards releasing them in time.
Although these bricks still weigh me down I can notice them, and begin to question if I need to keep carrying them over time.
I am sure there are bricks that I am not even aware of yet. And that’s okay. I can regularly do this exercise and discover the bricks that are there, finding new ones, releasing more and more over time.
As long as I continue to stay aware, I can simply trust that when those bricks are ready to be released they will become heavy enough to get my attention. I will become aware of those bricks as I am meant to.
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.
Step 5: Remember That the Bricks Aren’t Actually Real
The bricks aren’t actually real!!!
It is good to remember from time to time but we forget. They feel real. We treat them as if they are real. We act as if they are real. But they are not real.
Even when we talk about dumping them on the floor and sorting through them, that is only metaphorical. We cannot actually see them or handle them. They don’t have any physical weight. They are just our perceptions, thoughts in our brain.
Remember we have around 60,000 thoughts each day. They come and go like clouds. Sometimes light and airy just floating by, and other times they appear dark and ominous, full of “danger”.
As our thinking changes and we gain new insight, or learn a different perspective the weight of the backpack changes. Some things that were once marble bricks may feel like foam bricks as we see things in a new way. The heaviness is changed.
The good news is these bricks aren’t dangerous at all. We only need to remember that they aren’t actually real.
So remember that when you are feeling weighed down, you can follow these steps and let go of some of that weight. It is a process and just do what you can with the bricks that you know. And try to keep in mind that even the heavy ones are as permanent as the clouds. They will come and go. “Contact Me” and send me a quick email if you would like to let go of some of this extra weight for yourself. We can unpack your backpack together and see what bricks you have been carrying around. If you prefer, you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss the weight you want to let go of and how to get started.
And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!….. In the end!!! If it’s not good, it’s not the end!