The Bubble Maker : Manage Your Thoughts for Greater Inner Peace
Just like rest is an important part of physical training, mental rest is a huge part of mental strength training.
If you’re a runner, you know that grinding out long runs every day for a month is a recipe for burnout, injury, and suboptimal performance.
If you strength train, you know there’s a reason you don’t want to do five “leg days” in a row—your muscles need that time to rest and repair themselves so that you can bring even more strength to your next workout.
Our brains work the same way! A huge part of mental strength training is consciously resting your brain. The reality is, pushing your mental load to the max will surely take a toll on your overall health and it’ll wear you doooown. If you want to bring your best self to the table, you need to regularly give your brain a chance to rest, regroup, and relax.
And there are so many ways to do this.
The most obvious technique is meditation. Getting a good night’s sleep is also massively effective. But I want to bring you a new mental exercise to try this week—The Bubble Maker.
Oh, I just heard the sound of screeching tires and you whispering, Say what?
It’s okay, stick with me!
Sometimes we get so consumed by our non-stop, fast ‘n furious thoughts that it’s hard to take a step back and disconnect from the noise. We can lose sense of the fact that our brain and our thoughts are really separate things. YES! Your brain may produce thoughts, but your brain is not those thoughts.
And you actually have a built-in tool that helps you shape your brain and recognize your thoughts—your mind.
That’s right, I’m telling you that your brain, your thoughts, and your mind are all separate!
And here’s the beautiful thing about that…
You can’t control your brain.
You can’t control your thoughts (when they first pop into your head).
BUT you can learn to control your mind, and your mind is the tool that allows you to recognize those thoughts which ultimately shapes your brain.
Here’s where the Bubble Maker comes into play…
Find a quiet place to sit or lay down, and start to focus on your thoughts. Just listen. Don’t judge yourself for those thoughts, and don’t let them overwhelm you.
Remember, those thoughts are separate from you, your brain, and your mind, which means you don’t need to control your thoughts. Instead, you get to use your mind to decide what to do with those thoughts.
Now, picture each one of those thoughts as a bubble floating by. They are not part of you, and you get to decide what happens to them.
Visualize these bubbles floating through the air. When you focus on one, it gets bigger.
Everything else fades to the background, and suddenly the only thing you can see is that one bubble.
The question you need to ask yourself in this moment is, what are you choosing to focus on?
What are you CHOOSING to focus on?
That is where the power lies, my friend.
If you don’t like what you’re looking at, you don’t have to remain fixed on that one bubble; you can choose to shift your attention to a different bubble.
Now, that first bubble doesn’t simply disappear when you’re no longer looking at it, but it takes up less of your attention and less of your energy.
When you notice a negative thought floating by, remind yourself that the more you focus on it, the bigger it gets. But you can shift your focus to another bubble, to another, more positive thought.
Let that bubble get bigger and fill your vision.
And if you bump up against a [negative] thought isn’t serving you, shift your attention to a more positive thought and imagine yourself popping that smaller bubble.
Let it go and recognize that it may have come from your brain, but it wasn’t a part of you.
I actually discovered this exercise years ago when I was working with a group of teenagers and teaching them about thought awareness. I couldn’t find the original video, but here are two others that walk you through this exercise, step-by-step...
Using mental exercises like The Bubble Maker is a purposeful way to give your brain a little more space, which helps you continue to build your mental strength and bring your best to the table.
By the way, this is a fantastic exercise to help kids practice mindfulness as well.
I taught it to my son when he was around 7 years old and it's proven to be super helpful.
With school kicking back into gear, if your kiddos are starting to experience some frustration or anxiety about the end of summer, share this with them! You can watch the video together and help guide them through how to use it!
Did you give The Bubble Maker a try this week? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Hiya! I'm Karen.
My main goal is to give you the mental skills you need to experience less stress and more joy.
Your life is a direct reflection of your thoughts. If you want uplifting content that will help you master your mind join the community. We'd love to have you!
If not, no hard feelings. Feel free to stop by whenever you need a pick-me-up! I'll be here.
Either way-see you soon!