Top tips for a ‘spaghetti head’

….and Why Multi Tasking is overrated, by Cathy Ainsworth.

I recently read a fabulous fiction book entitled ‘Spaghetti Head’ by Sarah Tyley… The author explains ‘Spaghetti head is based on a picture I drew in 2005, a pile of jumbled up spaghetti that represented thoughts and emotions…I wanted to get from jumbled emotions to a nice straight orderly pile’.

It’s true that many clients come to Yoga or pilates for physical benefit – to stretch out tight, tired muscles and ease back aches, but they often find they also increase mental wellbeing as part of the package. Indeed the goal of yoga in its essence is to ‘calm the fluctuations of the mind’ (Patanjali , The Yoga Sutras).

 As we focus on balance for example, we spread out the sole of the foot, we engage the core, lengthen the spine and focus our gaze, helping to unravel a busy ‘spaghetti head’ as we become more present and calm. Sarah Tyley describes your inner critic as ‘a voice inside your head who may judge or belittle you’ …If a class can offer some relief from this chatter then that’s something I think we all need a little of.

A client recently asked me for my top tips to stop overthinking. Maybe you find yourself overthinking about one event or a set of events/possible events/problems and you can identify with the ‘spaghetti head’? I know 4am in the morning seems to be my prime time for overthinking from time to time! In simple accessible terms here are my humble suggestions to try out …

  1. EXERCISE = oxygen and endorphins… An uptight body often equates to an uptight mind and vice versa. Yoga, Pilates, or a simple walk?
  2. BE PRESENT… Tune in to the simple act of breathing (notice the flow of air, slow it down, breathe more deeply for a moment)…Count to ten…notice colours and sounds…Do one thing at a time. Multi tasking is over rated…

Learn Yoga techniques such as alternate nostril breathing or belly breathing.

  1. Allow a certain, allocated, short time for worry then STOP and talk to yourself as a friend would … Tell that inner critic to sit down, and be quiet. 
  2. POSITIVE ACTION – Hope depends on seeing an end in sight to a stressful situation…can you take a small step of positive change, or take one action to get through today or the next week. Make a list of what or who can help you.
  3. RECOGNISE that you are overthinking and getting tangled up, and repeat 1 to 4

I hope some of these comments and suggestions are valuable for you, and maybe you will read the book and try out a class…

Great Northern Physiotherapy Yoga Thursday 7pm, Pilates Monday 7pm and Friday 12.30pm