Noticing Thoughts

You may have heard that a key aspect of mindfulness is the practice of observing the activity of the mind. Through meditation, for example, we keep our attention on a particular focus, such as the breath, and simply watch our thoughts as they arise and fall away. At any one time our mind is either very busy, quite settled, or somewhere in-between.

According to neuro-scientific research, our brain constitutes about 2-3% of our body weight, but at rest, uses up 20-25% of the body’s energy. It follows that, when we have a lot of thoughts, particularly of the anxious kind, we may feel quite drained of energy. We can have thought after thought after thought, seemingly without a break.

So, how can we work with our thoughts and reclaim some of our vital energy?

Thoughts carry a lot of energy, and they can be very powerful in determining how we conduct our lives. However, the act of observing thoughts without judgement, as if they are just a series of mental events, as we do in meditation, can take the energy out of them.

They appear in our minds as if like soap bubbles and once we notice them, it’s as if they pop and disappear or just float off into the air. Of course, if we do want to think about something in particular we can do this consciously, but otherwise we can learn to let unnecessary and unhelpful thoughts come and go.

Whilst this take on-going practice, we may find that it is no too long before we feel re-energised and find greater clarity of mind.

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