How to Switch off your Over Active Brain

A common problem for business owners is how to switch off an over active brain. Working for yourself means you are always thinking of how to grow or improve your business. After a while your brain can become so active that is it quite a challenge to relax.

Case studies

Beryl is a consultant who works for herself. She is in hyper alert mode most of the time.  Her mind works over time as she anticipates the consequences of poor processes and procedures on the end clients. As a result she is exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically from an over active brain.

Alan is an entrepreneur whose business has been running for five years. He is extremely driven. His Things to Do list has over 100 items, many of these are new ideas and projects he has in mind. At the same time his focus is to bed down processes and procedures that make the running of his business easier. Despite having some strong team members he likes to be personally involved in the production process. His personal involvement is in fact the very aspect that differentiates him from his competitors. Recently in a coaching session he admitted that he finds it extremely difficult to relax and enjoy his weekends. He loves what he does but has an over active brain that struggles to switch off.

Carmelita works for herself. Generally she sleeps well. However there are times when something has happened during her day that has upset her. Those nights she struggles to fall asleep. Her mind reworks the problem and she finds herself stuck in repetitive thought patterns. This becomes a real problem especially at night time when she has an over active brain.

Some fun ways to quieten your brain

Unless we intervene and consciously find ways to relax our brain, we run the risk of health problems from an over active brain. So here are a few light but powerful ways to access the right side of your brain which is crucial in finding creative solutions.

Doodling: This is to scribble in an absentminded way. Some people like to draw little cubes or pyramids. Others will draw stick men, funny figures or outlines of animals. Draw with no objective in mind. It feels “mindless” but is in fact an effective way to process issues at a deeper level in our brain.

Labyrinths: These are structured patterns usually with an opening that you follow until you eventually come out either at the same or a different opening. Follow a labyrinth pattern with the back of a pen or pencil while you are pondering on an issue. In the process you will most likely gain new insights or ideas of what to do next. Labyrinths are wonderful tools to calm an over active brain.

Free-hand drawing:  Take a sheet of paper and draw free hand across the whole page. Up and down, crisscrossing and making different shapes or forms. Once you have done this for a few minutes put down your pencil. Then see what shapes or objects you recognise in your drawing. What traits or characteristics does this object have that can help you resolve your current challenge?

Sit in nature: Find a quiet spot in nature and observe an animal or plant. If you take your challenge to the life of a lizard or ant, what do you learn?  Or if you study a specific plant: what about this plant can teach you how to approach a challenge you face? Sit and ponder for a while focussing intently on some aspect in nature. See what insights surface for you.

Many adults are turning to adult colouring-in books. These help us focus our mind on something and stay fully present in what we are doing. Colouring in creates a quiet space for us to be with our thoughts in a more gentle, non-analytical way. It is essential to find ways to quieten an over active brain as it affects your overall well-being.

So next time you have an over active brain try one of these techniques and see what surprise or unexpected solution arrives. In the long term meditation is a brilliant way of bringing balance between the rational and emotional brain. More and more business executives are exploring this option as it helps them to make wiser business decisions too.

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Posted in Business Owner, Stress.