Slowing the Mind that Doesn’t Stop

The mind of a gifted adult runs constantly at full speed.  Since we don’t know first hand what it’s like to be in anyone else’s head other than our own, it’s easy to assume that everyone’s brain buzzes at one hundred miles per hour.  But it doesn’t…

The mind of a gifted adult runs continually, dissecting, turning things upside down and inside out.  It would be great if we reserved this full throttle thinking for higher order things like addressing poverty and corruption but we don’t.  We run at this speed constantly, questioning, considering, analyzing.  Even thinking….about thinking.  For gifted adults, the process of thinking, shifting through the layers, rotating the ideas, linking disparate elements is essential.  But sometimes we think too much.  Sometimes we need to take the time to shut our brain off.

Constant Thoughts

Like the white noise in the background you don’t notice until a power outage turns the noise off, a gifted brain generates a lot of white noise.  Also, because we think fast, we feel more.  When our brains are looping through positive thoughts, this works well for us.  When our brains are fixated and processing something negative at hyper speed, we make ourselves feel much worse than we have to.  There are ways to re-focus how we think to feel better but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about the need to sometimes shut your brain down to shut off the noise and, if were fixated on something negative, to feel better also.

Personally, I love when my brain runs full tilt working through some problem.  OK actually, since my brain runs on multiple tracks simultaneously, I’m happiest when my brain is running full tilt on several related problems.  At any given time I’m consciously thinking about at least a dozen different things.  But I have to purposefully turn my brain off, simply because I need a break from the static in my head.  If I don’t give my brain a rest on purpose, it happens anyway, usually in a rather unconstructive way.  The best way I have to turn my brain off is some kind of physical activity.  Of course, for anyone, gifted or not, there are all kinds of benefits of being physically active but as a gifted adult I’m very aware that I am drawn to physical activity because it shuts my brain down and lets me re-charge.  Music also provides that outlet for me. Often very loud music…and, OK, yes, I also dance to it…even when I’m in my car.  I confess, I am that crazy person who pretends the windows are opaque and bounces up and down in my seat.

Ways to Slow Down

Different things work for different people.  I don’t think it really matters what you do so long as you get out of your head for a bit.  A lot of people suggest meditation.  Certainly that’s one option if you’re inclined towards it though I can hear the mother’s of young children reading this laughing hard at the suggestion of meditating.  A kind of micro-approach to meditating is captured in the Buddhist idea of ‘being mindful’ or ‘being in the moment’ as popularized by Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment which is a simple concept but extremely difficult for a lot of gifted adults.

So here are some suggestions for turning off your brain though the list is endless and dependent on your interests and personality:

  • physical activity of any kind
  • painting
  • gardening
  • singing
  • building or creating something with your hands
  • cooking

If you’re a gifted adult, you likely incorporate some of this into your life already unconsciously otherwise you’re probably feeling pretty spun.  If you don’t already, try purposefully shutting your brain down and see how it feels.

~ by Elisa

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  • Noraisyahabdrahman

    Yes you are correct. When the gifted feels positive, he/she would feel a never ending ‘on the go’ feelings but when negativity comes into the mind especially on failures, depression or thinking of attempting suicide is normal. I never knew I am gifted until a colleague came over to me and told me that I am. He wanted me to stay with my job (I told him that I wanted to resign because I ‘failed’ to be a good lecturer) and I did resign. I am an introvert and have depression. Usually I overcome this feelings by making myself busy or go out and meet people. Now as freelance teacher, I get true satisfaction because I feel that teaching is not just my profession (like it used to be), but it goes beyond that. My profession now makes me a teacher, a mother, a friend, a counsellor, a psychologist,an activist..etc. I could also detect giftedness in my student who think very fast (like an adult) but is not a scorer in the class. He is only 10 years old. He thinks very fast. Tend to be overexcited but when his parents scold him, he gets very emotional and always tell me he wants to commit suicide.