Calm Your Mind & Your Internal Distractions

Internal Distractions

Are internal distractions keeping you from focusing? Have they become a barrier to reaching your goals and accomplishing what God’s called you to do?

External distractions are plentiful, but sometimes it’s what’s in your head that’s the greatest distraction of all!

What Are Internal Distractions?

Internal distractions are your very own thoughts and feelings – the negative, unresolved, and unsettled ones. The thoughts and feelings that reflect a deep dissatisfaction in how you see yourself, how you see others, or the longing to change or control others.

How you see yourself – your self-image and your perceptions, create internal struggles that inhibit your ability to focus and be present.

Inner turmoil consumes a great deal of energy, leaving very little capacity for concentration or doing your best work.

Internal distractions are also physical feelings like hunger, fatigue, and illness.

What Triggers Internal Distractions?

In a word: FEAR.

It may be your Fear Monster at work, or it may be another fear. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find fear at the root.

Fear creates a fertile environment for distractions to thrive. It entices you to take on too much, multitask, and perpetually be in motion. In fact, being still feels nearly impossible.

What Suffers Most?

Self-Care! You skip the very activities that would increase your focus like getting enough rest, eating healthy food, allowing yourself time to process, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you JOY!

And because you are in such a deficit when it comes to self-care, resentment builds. You don’t think as clearly. Worry, anxiety, and self-doubt, creep in. Escaping, daydreaming, and replaying negative moments take up significant space you in your head.

Your perceptions become skewed causing you to take things personally.

Regret, lies, and un-forgiveness camp out in your brain.

Like a bee hive, you’ve got a whole lot buzzing around in your head. No wonder it’s impossible to focus!

How Do You Calm Your Internal Distractions?

You didn’t become distracted overnight, and gaining focus won’t happen overnight either. Getting to a calmer, more focused place in your life will take some time. It’s a process, a necessary process!

Here are some proactive steps to take to help calm your mind and reduce the internal distractions so you can focus and keep moving forward:

1. RECONNECT to Love

It’s impossible for fear and love to coexist! In fact, scripture tells us that perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18) And scripture also tells us that God is love. (I John 4:8)

It makes sense then, that you and I need to connect with the source of love and truly allow God’s love to sink in. really sink in and saturate our hearts and minds. We have to receive and believe that we are fully and unconditionally loved. Then live loved! From that place, our perspective drastically changes.

That means slowing down and being still just like we are urged to do in Psalm 46:10.

2. Get More REALISTIC

Fear causes us to operate in one of two ways. We underestimate what we are capable of accomplishing or we overestimate what we are capable of taking on.

Underestimating leads to self-doubt, dread, worry, and anxiety. It’s paralyzing.

Overestimating causes us to strive, burn out, and keeps us from operating at our very best. It’s frustrating.

However, coming to grips with your REAL capacity is empowering. At the heart of being realistic is the recognition that you are human BEing and that you have limits, and needs, and desires. When you don’t honor those aspects of your life, it leads to dissatisfaction, frustration, and an overloaded mind.

Remember, Jesus wants to do the heavy lifting for you! He wants you to trust Him to make up for your lack. He doesn’t give you tasks to do that are burdensome and heavy – His yoke is easy! (Matthew 11:30)

If you are stressed and overwhelmed and burned out there’s a good chance that you are taking on more than you were meant to.

3. REINSTATE Practicing Self-Care

The beauty of being more realistic is that you not only enjoy more margin in your life, but you now have space for the activities that actually fuel you – the activities that you’ve been depriving yourself of!

So often when you’ve been in a distracted state for a long time, you don’t even remember what brings you JOY! That’s an unhappy place to be. It may take time to rediscover the activities that energize you, but be committed to exploring the possibilities and finding out.

Just a side note here for those of you who are “people pleasers” or resist anything that might appear selfish: you can’t give to others what you don’t give to yourself. By being more compassionate and caring to you, you are more capable of being compassionate and caring to others.

It’s good to love yourself AND others!

Need some creative ideas on ways to practice self-care? I’ve got 119 ways here!

4. Take Time To REFLECT

A cluttered mind is a distracted mind! Allowing yourself space to process your thoughts and feelings is literally organizing your brain. In fact, your brain yearns to be organized! We live in the information age, but too much info coming at you 24/7 leaves very little time to process – that’s a recipe for distraction! You have to choose to disconnect from the steady flow of content.

It’s even more important to connect to your thoughts because they form your feelings. And how you feel influences your actions And of course, the results you get are dependent on your actions.

Bottom line, if you want different results, you must allow yourself time to reflect and become aware of the thinking that’s driving you – the thinking that’s hindering you.

Thoughts & Belief Cycle

5. Adopt New RITUALS

Rituals are activities that you repeat, and, in this case, activities that will enable you to minimize the distractions in your mind. Here are a few rituals you might consider incorporating into your life:

      • Journaling – it’s a powerful way to process and then look back to see how far you’ve come!
      • Mind-Mapping – a simple way to organize your thoughts on paper.
      • “Brain dump” – I like to do this every morning as I plan my day because it the allows me to prioritize what must get done.
      • A mourning routine – It automatically incorporates key activities so you don’t have to think about it.
      • An evening routine – Enables you to wind down and gear up for the next day without a whole lot of thought or decision making.
      • Practicing Gratitude – Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude!
      • Exercise/Christian Yoga – Nothing clears your mind better than moving and it makes you stronger and more confident too!
      • Meditating – try a Christian guided meditation like Abide.

You can’t control what’s happening in the world or even what’s happening right around you. But you do have the ability to choose how you will do life. YOU choose!

Each day brings new challenges, but it’s up to you to make choices that will allow you to diminish the internal and external distractions. Then you are able to break through the barriers, focus, and move forward in meaningful ways!

What’s one step you will take to begin reducing your internal distractions?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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