Updated: May 21, 2020
I gave my thinking brain aka "my peanut" a few days off. I needed a break from trying to solve the world's problems.
If you haven't read my blog "My Peanut is Bigger than Your Peanut", I suggest you do or this one won't make much sense.
I decided to take a mental vacation and give my thinking brain "my peanut" three days off, and I imagined that it decided to go to Paris. Why not?
So every time my peanut tries to come back early (and it sure loves to work, so it keeps trying to come back) I just tell it to go back and enjoy the croissants.
One of the biggest fears about taking a mental vacation is the thought that if we take our thinking brain offline, we will not be safe. Taking a mental vacation does not mean you are powering down your brain, if you need your brain power it's always there available to you. By the way, it's not your thinking brain that alerts you to danger and the need to pay attention...it's usually your intuition that comes online to keep you safe.
So if we can't always solve our problems with our thinking brain, then what can we use?
This is where intuition comes into play. All jokes aside, I really felt the need to take the focus away from my rational mind and allow my intuition to give me guidance. The need arose because I started to feel exhausted and overwhelmed trying to make decisions. My rational mind was going in circles, thinking and re thinking...and I was aware I was stuck in a loop. So hence the need to send my peanut on vacation.
3 Warning Signs that You Need a Mental Vacation
Your need to control everything is on overdrive - you may consider yourself a control freak and still you can notice that your need to control is out of control. You are going out of your way to micro manage everyone and everything in your life.
You can't make even the smallest decision - you find yourself spending hours just trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. What once was an easy decision is now a source of stress.
Your thoughts are racing faster and faster - you try to keep up but you just can't. The noise in your head is overwhelming. Your body is physically exhausted from processing all the mental data.
If you resonate with 2 or more of the warnign signs above, do yourself a favour and take a mental vacation. You can decide on how long to make your vacation...but please do take a menatal vacation as soon as possible.
While my peanut enjoys the cappuccinos and croissants in Paris, I am allowing my intuitive brain to take control. I am practicing the skill of intuition. I will be totally honest, it is a process. My peanut is persistent and it keeps popping back in trying to take back control. I guess it has been running the show for so long it really wants to stay in control. It is taking effort for me to stay on my mental vacation and allow my intuition to take a front seat in running my life (for a few days).
Psychologists define intuition as “a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason."
Intuition is a bit of a mystery that is not very well defined and many people believe there is no such thing. It is commonly referred to as "gut feeling". It turns out that we do have a second brain in our gut. Researchers have discovered a vast neural network in the lining of our digestive tracts, and coined the intestines as a "second brain". So there is science to back up the gut feeling.
Intuition is a skill that can be developed as you learn to interpret your gut feelings. In my experience, the best most effortless decisions I have made have been led by intuition. You will need to test this out for yourself.
Think of a decision you are trying to make.
Pay attention to your gut.
Notice what you are feeling.
Trust your feelings.
There is not one specific feeling that determines if the gut is giving you a go ahead or a big thumbs down. You will need to practice the 4 steps above and start to judge that for yourself.
When I get a "hell ya, go for it" It feels light and it feels like slight fireworks going off in my gut in an upwards direction. When I get a "No go, walk away", it feels heavy, it feels like knots and there is a heaviness that weighs me down.
Now, the tricky part is the dreaded maybe....that one is unclear. I get a mix of both above with no clear direction. When this happens, it is mostly because my rational mind is too active and not allowing me to really pay attention to the gut. This is a sign that I need to spend some time nurturing my intuition. Hence, once again the need for a mental "peanut" vacation.
Wishing you a very joyous mental vacation...be sure to send me a postcard from "your peanut" vacation spot.
Have you taken a mental vacation? What happened when you followed your intuitive feelings? What happened when you didn't? Share your insights in the comment section below.
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Wishing you love, joy and peace,