3 Techniques to Notice your Thoughts
Day 3 of a 10 day completely silent meditation retreat. No books, no writing, no making eye contact. Just breathing, walking in nature and meditating - and eating...a little.
On this day I found myself mid afternoon, again noticing the feeling of my breath. This time was different though. I suddenly found my thoughts really getting away on me, but it wasn't so much that I had seen the thoughts out of control as soon as they happened. They had been running amok for probably 10-15 minutes without me even recognizing it and stopping them.
My first thought was...What the heck, who is in control here?!
Up until that point in life I had been under the illusion that we were in control of everything we thought. That we could just turn our thoughts around in an instant. However, what if we didn't recognize when that instant was? What if that instant was 10 - 15 minutes ago and we've now been spreading unhappy messages about ourselves to our body for that long, and now we feel like crap... you see where I am going here...
I certainly cannot call myself a master at controlling my thoughts, but that day changed something inside me. I found myself better able to catch thoughts before they got out of control and made me feel bad. Just by noticing them, not being of them, but being parted from them.
Hopefully these tips can help you notice your thoughts and discover that they do not have to have control over you.
A printable version of these techniques is below: