Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.
October 3, 2021 · 5 min read
The mind reflects the world, and the world reflects the mind. - James Pierce
Have you ever had dirty thoughts just by an accident?
Have you had dirty thoughts intentionally?
These are only a few signs that you have mind in the gutter. Sometimes, having playful jokes about it in the right place at the right time is fun, but you must be aware when it’s appropriate.
On the other hand, too many dirty thoughts can disturb your focus and shift your mind to an aggressive and negative one.
Therefore, it’s important to tackle with the problem if you notice the first signs.
Getting your mind out of the gutter essentially means to stop associating a remark with a dirty thought.
For example, if someone says “Grab some balls and let’s go!”, you might misinterpret that as a sexual situation. When in fact, the other person meant that “Grab some cheese balls (potato chips) from the market’s shelf and let’s go pay for it!”
This phrase doesn’t necessarily associate with a sexual situation. All it means that you misinterpret someone else’s words with a dirty correlation.
We say that we want peace of mind but what we really want is peace from mind. - Naval Ravikant
In some cases, you might have an excessive number of dirty thoughts in your head that can prevent you from focusing on important things. There’s time and place for almost everything, but when it overcomes your life, it’s a sign that you have to change.
Therefore, here are 7 ways how to get your mind out of the gutter.
Try to find the core reason why you are having dirty thoughts. Is it because you enjoy doing it? Perhaps because you are in a social group which can only joke using sexual correlations?
Face your problem instead of running away from it. If you can find the root cause why this happens, then you’ll be able to eliminate it.
For example, if you are having dirty thoughts because of your friends, then you should let them kindly know that you are irritated at these jokes and ask your friends to find other sources for jokes.
Remember that these thoughts are nothing more than words which can be controlled and manipulated into your favor.
Having a physical control over your thoughts can help you evaluate them better. Therefore, write your thoughts down on a paper and keep on reading them.
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. - Marcus Aurelius
Analyze how mind in the gutter makes you feel. Then choose your way to destroy this piece of paper – burn it in the fireplace, rip it up, or do anything else that you feel like in that moment.
This way of coping with the problem might be the only tool you will ever need.
If you are feeling like you let down yourself, let go of regrets.
First thing you must do is to forgive yourself. Regularly reminding yourself that you have failed again is not going to help the situation. Instead, you have to learn to be yourself.
Remember that as long as you try to improve as a person, everything will be fine. Probably you didn’t learn to ride a bike from your first try, you had to attempt more times than that.
Similarly, it’s hard to do everything well from your first time. Letting your thoughts out of the gutter might not be fruitful at the first time. However, after a few attempts you should be able to accomplish your goal.
Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon that we are running each day and stepping an additional step forward to a better life.
If you catch yourself making dirty thoughts about someone, consider shifting your focus elsewhere. You can distract yourself by thinking of goals that you have to complete today, what will you eat for dinner, you can daydream about vacation, skills you want to acquire, etc.
Thoughts can be controllable and you are the owner of them. You have all the power but you have to be mindful enough to use it wisely.
If you find that something triggers your mind, hide them. For example, if you feel overwhelmed and worried, you should avoid watching TV and news, because it’s often associated with problems.
Similarly, you have to identify your triggers and avoid them.
Suggesting meditating can sound like a cliché.
However, meditation can be useful in a lot of ways. Here are the benefits of meditation:
Every time your mind shifts, your world shifts. - Byron Katie
Meditation is a self-development activity to increase your mindfulness. As a result, getting your mind out of the gutter should be a lot easier if you train your mind.
If you’ll consider meditating, you’ll have to find a place where you feel safe and comfortable. You don’t have to meditate for half an hour or an hour – 10 minutes will be sufficient to start feeling the benefits.
Here is a practical video of meditation:
Get busy to get your mind out of the gutter.
Your mind is in the gutter because you are bored and have no goals which would motivate you. Well, perhaps they motivate but they might be unrealistic. For example, you suddenly want to learn to play a Steve Vai’s song without even knowing how to play a guitar.
It’s very likely that you won’t succeed if you have a very high-end goal and don’t have a detailed plan of actions.
Therefore, set a big goal and divide it in smaller chunks. So, if your goal is to learn to play a Steve Vai’s song, first you have to learn to play basic chords, do ear training, learn basic music theory, learn scales, and practice them regularly. This is a very abstract example, but you get the idea.
Every smaller chunk might have additional smaller steps. The more detailed your plan is, the more likely you will succeed.
This will take no more than two minutes.
The basic concept of this method is to think of a very general, broad niche that you are interested in. Then, after 1-3 seconds you chain to another linked more specific idea and so on. So, the scheme looks like this:
The broadest niche -> general niche -> smaller niche -> even smaller niche -> smallest niche -> something associating with smallest niche, etc.
The end of the war with the mind is the end of war. - Byron Katie
To illustrate this, here’s an example:
Music -> Guitars -> Electric guitars -> Stratocaster guitar -> John Mayer -> U.S. -> Good life quality index -> Lots of restaurants -> Taco Bell -> Tacos -> Origin country of Tacos is Mexico -> Spicy food, etc.
As you can see, you can do a very long-tailed chain of keywords and ideas. This chain could’ve ended with a whole different outcome if that was done by you.
The point of this exercise is to lose focus on your initial idea. People can’t focus too much on multitasking and eventually end up losing their initial thoughts. This explains why you forget your keys, have doubts if you locked your home, etc.
You really have to know well when it’s appropriate to have a mind in the gutter and if whether it’s not poisoning your thoughts.
If you want a straightforward resume on what you should do, then here it is:
Certainly, you should explore other ideas that have been provided in this article. However, it’s up to you to choose what works best for you.
Good luck letting go of stuck thoughts in your mind!