OK - it may not be a competition but it is a regular fitness exercise that you need to do now - now, more than ever. Right now, we need a steady mind and cool head... it makes all the difference.
And, right now, you should also delve deeper into steadying your head... you can browse all the "back issues" in The Archive!
Give yourself extra time to do routine things. You could do some of your chores mindfully - you could do the ironing to do the ironing... I've one particular client who is an adept at this.
You could stir the porridge to stir the porridge - I've another client who excels at this.
You could eat your lunch to eat your lunch - instead of what most normal crazy people do: stuff their lunch down their throat as if they were refuelling a Formula One racing car.
You could take your time in anything you do. When you do the not-so-important stuff mindfully, you know what happens when it comes to the really important stuff...
Quite a few years ago, Stanford confirmed that, if we're left alone, free from other distraction, the distraction borne of our own thought will drive us demented in approximately twelve hours.
The psychological reasons may be many but they are certainly not complex. Explained simply: every day 70,000 thoughts fly randomly through your head. They fly randomly, but they're not random: they're pretty much the same 70,000 thoughts from one day to the next. It's called ruminative thinking and it's something you're rarely aware of - that is until all the other distractions of our normal crazy noisy world come to a grinding halt.
And, when you do become aware of even one of these thoughts, a whole load of not necessarily related thoughts latch on to the first one... and, like a gang of muggers, they drag you to the floor and kicking the living crap out of you! There's no nicer way of putting it but there are certainly less nicer ways of explaining it!
Next step, after you've been floored, you start feeling sorry for yourself... so you dwell on those thoughts too. Or you could feel guilty for being caught off-guard - as if the normal mind was ever alert to anything! There's a whole range of what you think are emotions that might well up within - but the key word is "think" - you only think they are emotions and that thinking creates what you think is the emotion you think you're experiencing.
Is it any wonder that, when I talk about the normal mind, I always add the word "crazy"?
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, that the normal mind will always prefer to select negative thoughts over positive ones... just in case you thought you might be able to go off on some mental flight of fancy!
The key point is that we need to change how we think - not what we think (because the 70,000 thoughts, like squaters, will always be with you)... you need to starve them of your attention. You need to stir the porridge to stir the porridge.
A client informed me yesterday that he had come across a piece that suggested that currently "confined" people are more afraid of being on their own than they are of catching Covid-19.
Not surprising really: left alone with ourselves, we end up being accompanied by nothing other than our own thoughts. And that leads to deep, dark places.
You've heard people talk about the dark recesses of the mind but, as normal people, we don't need to dig too deep to come up with a payload of absolute crap!
So, although mobile devices and social media have a lot to answer for, isn't it wonderful that we can FaceTime or Skype; isn't it wonderful that nobody needs to be left alone with their own thoughts.
Of course, some have gone one step further, as you may have seen - residents of a complex of Council Flats in Dublin's Ringsend district have invented Balcony Bingo... and actually arranged the prizes to be sponsored.