This week, Tim Bowen takes a load off our mindswith his explanation of the many idioms associated with the human mind.

As the human mind is so central to our existence, it is hardly surprising that the word mind is used in a wide range of idioms. You often need to make up your mind (make a decision) and having done so you might change your mind (change your decision). Sometimes you may find it necessary to speak your mind (say exactly what you think even though it might upset someone) or give someone a piece of your mind (tell them exactly what you think, especially when you are angry with them).

Remembering and forgetting are clearly associated with the mind, so we have bear in mind and keep in mind (remembering, as in, 'Thanks, I'll bear that in mind' and 'Keep that in mind when you come to make your decision') and slip one’s mind (forgetting, as in, 'I meant to invite him but it completely slipped my mind').

Sometimes you might have a lot on your mind (be worried about something). In such cases, you might need something to take your mind off it (make you stop thinking or worrying about it). If you stop worrying, you can say that something is a load off your mind, as in 'Knowing that you'll be here to help is a load off my mind'. If you are in two minds about something, you are not sure what to think about it or not sure what decision to make, but if you set your mind on doing something, you are determined to do it. The last thing on your mind is something that is not important enough to worry about, especially when you have more serious problems, as in ‘Cleaning the house is the last thing on my mind at the moment'.