Addiction to thinking is constantly pulling your attention to the past and future. Being present, focusing in the moment, is the key to breaking this habit. When you are present in the moment, you cannot be thinking; when you are thinking, you are not present in the moment. Do not try to analyze your thoughts. Doing that can get you pulled into your thoughts which usually gets bigger. Bringing your attention to the present moment is enough to deal with addiction to thinking.
He who is addicted to thinking is mind-possessed. The mind which should be a servant has become the master. Such a person needs to get back control and be in charge of his mind. The steps listed below can help one in becoming the master of his mind.
1. Accept what is: What is is what it is â€“ it already is. Resisting what is is one of the major reasons for problems and stress. It is in your resistance to what is that your mind flies to the past or future in an attempt to escape the present. What is is in the present. You have to accept what is if you want peace. Even if you consider your situation undesirable, then you have to accept what is first. This happens before the situation can be changed for the better.
You come back home one day and you find a pot on the table in your sitting room. You lose your mind because of this, or rather because you are resisting this. â€śA pot on the table in the sitting room! Why should the pot be in the sitting room? Oh, these children...â€ť Your mind goes on. Do you see that your resistance to the potâ€™s presence in the sitting-room has not changed the location of the pot? But when you come back home to find the pot in the sitting room and you accept that it is there, the next thing that follows is not your thought that will be in resistance but your action that changes the potâ€™s location. By changing the potâ€™s location, you have changed the situation. Of course, you may afterwards want to know how it got to the sitting room, but the fact is that your acceptance came first and it did not cause you stress. You were in charge of your mind all the while.
2. Observe your mind: Thoughts continually show up. A thought starts as little and tries to get your attention so that it can pull you in. Once it gets your attention, the thought grows bigger. You may have started with a thought like, â€śOh, I feel tired.â€ť Before you know it, your thought has grown to be, â€śOh, my life is so miserable.â€ť This happens when you do not watch your thought. Your thought grows in your absence â€“ lack of presence in the moment.
You have to be present in the moment to observe your mind. When a thought comes in, stay present and watch. Be a watcher. Do not analyze or judge the thought. Just watch. By being present in the moment and watching it, the thought does not get the attention it seeks, hence, it cannot grow. What happens to the thought? It leaves. Presence dissolves thought.
3. Make time for stillness: Stillness is what you may call meditation or quiet time. Stillness is good for your mind just as exercise is good for your body. How come we pay so much attention to the body trying to take care of it without caring for the mind? Yet the actions of the mind can ruin the body.
Stillness is a powerful tool for gaining mastery over your mind and it has been around for thousands of years. You try to focus your mind on the in and out rhythm of your breath, for instance, and what does your mind do? It wanders bringing up unsolved problems and old worries. Leave it unchecked and the peacefulness of the present moment turns into a spiral of fear and worry.
Stillness involves focusing on the present moment which can start with focusing on your breath, on the trees and flowers when you walk in nature. With sufficient practice, you begin to retrain your mind so that it can be the servant. When your mind tries to go off on its own, you can gently come back to the present moment. Stillness has some mental health benefits which include reduced anxiety and depression, addiction recovery, and enhanced creativity.
For the sake of peace, get back control of your mind. Your mind is a wonderful servant but a destructive master.