The power of our thoughts is seldom fully realized. Most people pay very little attention to the thousands of thoughts that go through their minds every day. This is a shame because thoughts play a monumental part in our lives and can truly be said to shape our reality.
Our minds mechanically judge every aspect of our existence and these judgments are first interpreted by us through our thoughts. We might be driving on our way to a meeting for example be barraged by thoughts of worry and anxiety. This is a good indication that we have apprehensions or fears about our upcoming get-together. Since most people absorb all their thoughts without any censor and take them all at face value, they can’t help but be very affected by all of the commotion that is going on in their heads.
A great way to learn to manage these rampant thoughts is to practice a technique called “Mindful Meditation”. With this method you can become more aware of all of the thoughts that you are having and as a result you can begin to manage stress, depression, and even chronic pain. By managing your thoughts you can manage your emotions and how you deal with every situation in your life.
In order to practice the art of Mindful Meditation, you will have to learn to be present and in the moment. As a Zen Roshi might tell you, “Be here, now”. Keep your attention focused on the present moment and allow your mind and body to relax.
In order to develop your attention muscles, you might want to perform some of the small tasks of your day in this type of present moment focus. For example you can try and perform all of your chores while focusing solely on the present moment. You will find that all of these simple tasks become far more enjoyable when you are able to do them with your attention focused on the here and now.
When you get a good grasp of this ability to stay focused in the moment and you feel confident that you have developed your attention muscles, I want you to start to pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind at each moment of your life. This can sound like a simple thing but it does take some work on your part. It is though, one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have in your life.
If you are having trouble grasping the Mindfulness Meditation technique, I want you to try this exercise:
Imagine that all of the thoughts and sensations that you are having at every moment are like balloons moving past your mind. Perhaps there are some that are bigger than others or some might seem to fly across your field of awareness faster than others, but you will realize that at every moment you have many of these balloons making their way cross your mind. Pay attention to these thought/sensation balloons. Don’t judge them or focus on any of them too much. Just watch in a detached way as they make their way into and out of your present moment.
If you have a thought balloon enter your mind on your way to your meeting that has you stuttering or screwing up the things that you were planning to say then you will get nervous and anxious. This is how our thoughts control the reality of our lives. Through Mindful Meditation you can begin to get a grasp on your mental experience and learn to control the experiences of your life.
Learn to let those negative thoughts float past you without paying too much attention to them. You can even imagine that these negative thought balloons are being blown away from your mind by a strong wind. Focus only on those thoughts that empower you and let go of those that do not. By controlling your thoughts in this way, you will be able to greatly increase the quality of your life experience.