When You Can’t Trust Your Mind: Monday’s Mindful Quote with Albert Einstein

Here we are again with Monday’s Mindful Quote. Last week I wrote the post 5 Quotes that Can Change Your Life, and here’s one of them by Albert Einstein. Go ahead and read it a few times before moving on:

“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

Ok, so we’ve all been told that Albert Einstein was a genius, so it couldn’t hurt us to explore his wisdom.

It is all-too-natural and all-too-common for us to try and solve a problem with the same mind that created it. For example, when we begin sliding into depression, the automatic negative thoughts seep out, “what’s the point, who cares, nothing ever going to change, etc, etc…” and this helps lead us into depression. When we’re feeling depressed, all the mind wants to do is find the solution to the “problem” of depression and so it twirls round and round in its depressed state trying to find the explanation for “what’s wrong with me.”

The result is an unending barrage of rumination that sinks us deeper and deeper into a depressed state.

 Let’s switch it to anxiety. If you’re anxious about something it’s likely an anxious pattern of your mind that led you to that anxious state, maybe thoughts of “I have so much to do, when will I ever get it done” or “what if he comes up to me, I might make a fool out of myself,” etc., etc…” In that state of anxiety, the mind tries to figure out how to get out of it. So what does it do? It catastrophizes. It comes up with all the worst-case scenarios that might happen in an effort to get away from the anxiety.

What happens? The anxiety amplifies and as it amplifies we begin to worry about our worrying leading to greater imbalance.

When we notice the mind trying to “fix” our problems when it’s in an imbalanced place, it might be helpful to remember Einstein’s quote:

“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

So he’s beckoning us to come down from our busy minds and then begin to question the issue. There are many ways to do this and it depends on your preference. In my classes that I teach I have people create a checklist of activities that can be done when the mind is caught in its unhealthy cycles.

People put everything from the STOP practice, to the ACE practice, to walking, calling a friend, praying, and much more.

From this place you can begin to engage in problem solving healthier ways to move through you stress, anxiety, or depression.

What is on your check list to come down from your busy mind?

Please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

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