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Beating excessive thinking

The untrained mind and excessive thinking

One of the best aspects of mindfulness training is learning to be less carried away by or lost in thoughts that are troubling in some way. So much of the time we are not present or present in body only, our mind is elsewhere, dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This takes us away from our moment to moment experience.

We have glimpses of this tendency when we realise we’ve just finished a meal but not tasted a single bite or a child has shared a story about her day at school and you haven’t heard a word! You momentarily refocus to only moments later be drifting away again. Mindfulness training helps you to be more present, here’s an easy practice to help with this.

Mindfulness of thoughts technique

Start by taking 2 deep breaths, breathing in deeply and fully, feeling the movement of the shoulders, chest and belly as you do this, hold the breath in for a few seconds, then slowly start to breath out, after exhaling fully hold for a few seconds, repeat the cycle for the next breath. (observe what is happening with your thoughts while focused on the breath)

Let the breath then return to its own rhythm and when thoughts arise simply notice that they are there, and very gently return your focus to the feel of the next breath. When thoughts recur repeat this noticing of thinking and redirecting focus to the breath repeat as needed till the practice is complete.

Training plan - try for 10 minutes/day or 2x 5 minutes per day for 2 weeks and see what happens.

Happy practicing

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