Our minds are constantly going, and most of the time we aren’t paying attention to what they are saying. Our minds often focus on worst-case scenarios, on our faults and weaknesses and of those of others, on the mistakes we’ve made, and on our concerns about the future. That is its nature, of course, but it is also the cause of a lot of our stress and agitation. To take back control of our thoughts, we simply need to start by paying close attention to what is going on in the mind in an effort to get to know it better.
For this exercise, set aside a few moments throughout the day to listen to whatever is on your mind closely and without judgment. Just observe. The more you listen, the more you realize that much of what your mind is focusing on is in the past, is out of your control, or hasn’t even happened yet. The more you listen, the more you realize that a lot of what your mind is telling you much of the time is nonsense. I often laugh at my mind’s absurd notions.
A variation of this activity it to jot down your thoughts in a journal. [link to journal for sale.] Oftentimes, I find that seeing my thoughts on paper has an even great impact on me. Whether we write down our thoughts or not, we are shining a light on what’s going on inside our mind. With this greater awareness, we can start redirecting our thoughts to the present moment where we have a choice. Most of the time when I bring my mind out of the thoughts of the past or future, I feel a great sense of knowing that “all is well” in this very moment.