The Problem with an Idle Mind

In my life, I have gone through several periods where I was not working, and I spent most of my time at home secluded from the outside world. These times occurred during a serious illness that I had and also when I was in-between jobs.

I remember clearly when the four walls around me were my best friends. I spent day and night at home. My favorite thing to do was watch TV, I wanted to get lost in someone else’s reality. Being on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket was all that I wanted to do. I had family and friends around, but I craved being alone…even though it wasn’t good for me.


I remember having way too much time to think. I recall hearing my friends talk about a long day at work, or not being able to see my loved ones very much because they were busy working and with their families. There I was with nothing but time on my hands. There I sat with a very idle mind.

A mind that is not busy can get one in so much trouble. We can invent problems that are not even there. I remember replaying a lot of events and conversations in my past. I remember wanting to redo parts of my life. I would analyze everything, and I found my mind wandering to places that I didn’t want to go. It can truly be detrimental to be alone with your thoughts. Too much idle time can cause stress and negative emotions.


Fast-forward to today. I am a busy mom with young children. I have a lot of responsibilities and my schedule is jam-packed every day. From sunup to sundown, there is something to do with hardly any alone time or downtime in between. It’s funny how life can change like that. In the blink of an eye, situations and life circumstances can change drastically.

Nowadays, I don’t really have much time to think. I am constantly focused on what I need to do at any given moment. I am an overthinker and a deep thinker. I often get lost in brief moments of thought, but I can’t stay there for long. Late night and early morning are my moments of reflection.

Being busy has downsides, it can cause one to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. We strive for a delicate balance that we don’t often find. Given the downsides to being busy, there are some perks that I have found to be very helpful.

The Opposite 

A busy mind doesn’t have much room to wander and think. It doesn’t have time to think of past regrets, failed relationships, and all of the “what ifs.” A busy mind has less of a chance to become astray.

There is currently a lot going on in my life at the moment and the other day, I went out and spent some fun quality time with my family. The daily stresses and worries didn’t even cross my mind. Of course, they have come up again in thought, but while I was out and busy, all that I was focused on was my family and all of the fun that we were having. This is why staying busy in some way is so important!


Get Off of the Hamster Wheel

There’s a perfect description for when our minds don’t stop racing. We know it as the “hamster wheel.” One thought leads to another, and it just snowballs from there. Having your mind spinning constantly in circles can be a very uncomfortable feeling.

I have struggled with anxiety and OCD most of my life. I know the hamster wheel feeling all too well. My mind wanders when I have a moment of quiet in my day, which is few and far between. Usually, I am so busy these days that I don’t have much time to stop and think, but there are times, especially early in the morning and late at night when my mind wanders.


We know that a body in motion stays in motion. This can also be true for the mind. When we are constantly thinking, our mind stays in motion and stopping is very hard to do! Rumination feels like it’s a good idea because we feel like maybe we will get somewhere or solve something, but this is quite the opposite. Repeatedly thinking thoughts causes a lot of stress and although it can feel like we can lessen anxiety by thinking things through, more often than not it causes more damage.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

 – Van Wilder

When our brain is in motion, it can be very hard to stop it. The wheel just keeps spinning over and over again. The energy used to think fuels more thoughts that fuel even more thoughts…it can be very distressing! There are two things that help me.

A Break

When my mind won’t stop going and thinking, I do the following to try to get it to stop:

  • I look around the room and I try to focus on different characteristics. For example, I try to find all of the red items, the objects in the room that are square, or really large items.
  •  I close my eyes and I focus on my breath. I notice how I breathe in slowly and exhale slowly. I just allow myself to be with no distractions. My breathing is the only thing that I focus on.

These small moments of mindfulness make all of the difference for me! I hope that if you find your mind not able to turn off that these two tricks will work for you as well.

Wishing you and I a quiet mind!

Lost in my Own World

Throughout my life, I have heard “J, you are in your own little world” more times than I can count. At first, I took offense to this, because it doesn’t seem like a kind remark and it most likely isn’t, but I have come to realize that I am lost in my own world!

I have a little world inside of my head that I go to when I am wanting to escape reality or when I want to daydream. I have created a little space inside of my head where there is happiness, positivity, and safety. Life is full of ups and downs; it is challenging and as humans, we are constantly striving for balance and peace. We will do anything to be happy and to feel comfortable.

Miles in My Mind

My mind takes me to many places. I can daydream of being on the beach or on a tropical island. I can imagine myself surrounded by loved ones as I reminisce about old family traditions and memories. I can escape reality by creating a scenario in my head about something more pleasant than what I am experiencing.

I am a dreamer. I love to daydream. I often see people in a crowd or at the store and wonder what their daily lives are like. I wonder what they enjoy and what experiences that they have had. I wonder what their personality is like, and what their goals are in life. It’s amazing to me that we see so many people in passing, and we don’t have any idea about what their lives are like. It’s fascinating to me that we have so much going on in our lives, but most people will only see us on the surface. My mind wanders.


I am the kind of person that never gets bored. I can always find something to do and when I can’t, my mind is the most entertaining thing there is! I seem to be able to think up whole situations and scenarios. I have always had quite an imagination. I like to get lost thinking about the past and how I could have done things differently.

Sometimes I pretend that I am given another chance and I relive it in my head the way that I wish I could have before. I find myself daydreaming about my future. Where will I live? Will I find true love? I wonder what my kids will do in life, and where life will take us all in general. Part of the fun is not knowing.

I always have many thoughts. My mind is like a hamster wheel, it keeps spinning. I hop from one thought to another. It is absolutely exhausting, but I cannot seem to stop. I am typically deep in thought much of the time. I think about life and current situations on a very deep level. I think about those in my life very often.

I like to take myself to a place that is magical and happy, there is enough negativity and sadness in this world.

You Can Say It

It doesn’t bother me anymore when I hear this comment. Sometimes the world in my head is so much better than reality!

An Alternate World

Have you ever felt like you were in a different world? Has your mind taken you to a place where you felt disconnected from yourself? Perhaps feeling like people are little ants in a jar and someone is watching us live. Okay, maybe that went too far, but you might get my point.

I have felt this “world” many times in my life. Dissociation is the term for this phenomenon. It’s when your mind takes over and you’re sort of on autopilot. You’re living, but not truly living as you’re not making connections and taking in the world around you. It’s a “head in the clouds” situation. Dissociation is a type of coping mechanism that we hear about in Psychology.

This Got Me Wondering 

When our minds are floating somewhere else, where are we? When we dream, where is our mind taking us? My brain started thinking and pondering the many possibilities of our minds and this life here on Earth.

Are we capable of visiting other realms while here? How is it that the subconscious mind is just that, if it’s a part of us, why aren’t we consciously aware? There are so many questions and not many answers. The mystery is intriguing!

The Human Brain 

One thing for certain, our brains are capable of so much more than we think they are. We understand how all of the parts of the brain work together to help us retain memories, process emotions, live and breathe, and function as human beings, but there are intricate parts of the brain that are still undiscovered.

The mind and human behavior have always fascinated me. Psychology is one of my absolute favorite subjects!

Head in the Clouds

Our brains are smart enough to float away for a bit to repel environmental stimuli. The brain seems to know that it is in overload and reacts accordingly.

We may not know where the mind is wandering to during the day or as we sleep at night, but it sure is a fascinating subject to ponder. The brain remains active in many ways. The human mind and even body works in ways that we have yet to understand!

The Magic of the Night

I have always feared the night, yet I find it magical at the same time. You will hardly ever catch me walking outside at nighttime, and even driving in my car at night has an eerie feeling to it.

As night falls, there is a noticeable shift in me. During the day, I am always running around doing housework, running errands, and chasing after my young kids. I am constantly hopping from one thing to the next without much time to just be.

The Shift

Nighttime has always been a time for reflection for me. No matter how busy I have been, or what kind of day I have had, I always take a moment to sit in my thoughts and feel whatever emotions I have.

There is something so inviting about the darkness, the pin-drop silence, and the coziness of being inside as the night surrounds us. It is almost as if the night begs me to bask in its ambiance.

 I have always been one to become very emotional at night. I spend time often in a state of reflection and reminiscing about my past. I like to reflect on where I am going in life and how I want to get there. My feelings and emotions become very magnified, sometimes much stronger than I want to feel.

In My Head

It is the night that has me turning inwards, replaying life events, and feeling the overwhelming thoughts in my head. My heart and mind speak back and forth in tandem. It is their time to shine. It is the night that allows me to just be.

Most of the time, the night is a very positive experience for me and the only time that I truly get with myself. Other times, the night is more than I can handle. There is no off switch, the hamster wheel keeps going around and around with no sign of stopping.

I Find Peace

Without any noise and extra stimulus that occurs during the day, the night is mine to spend however I want to. A wave of peace usually rushes over me, and I sit in silence so golden that I can hear myself breathing and I can focus on every breath.

I often write at nighttime. I have a recliner chair with a little table next to it and I sit there wrapped in a blanket in a pitch-black room with only the light of my laptop screen reflecting onto my face. The blanket makes me feel cozy, in fact, you will find me wrapped up in a blanket even on the hottest days of summer.

On my table, I usually have a little plate of snacks to enjoy as I wind down for the day. I put my fingers on the keyboard and let them take me away.

Life’s Balance

As with everything in life, balance is beautiful and what we strive for. The bright days, the dark nights, the sunny weather and the rainy, the chaotic moments and the peaceful ones.

They all blend together in perfect harmony.