Let’s get something clear from the start. I’m not saying your mind is bad and you should never think again. Your mind is a remarkable tool that you can use to create marvellous things. However, what’s become very apparent to me is that most people I meet don’t know how to not think. And that certainly is a problem. Thinking too much is very stressful, leads to ill health, inhibits creativity, postpones your peace, limits your love and, perhaps most importantly, prevents you from knowing the unbounded brilliance of your real self.
You are not alone if you find it hard to not think!
Most people I meet from around the world at my clinics, courses and retreats find it near impossible to stop their minds from working overtime. They think all day long and some of them even think their way through the night too. Unable to reduce the deluge of thoughts occurring, their unhealthy habit of thinking has become insistent, uncontrollable and intense.
Mind mastery is attained when you can use your mind instead of your mind using you.
Are You Being Thunk?
If you cannot switch off and stop thinking at will, then your relationship with your mind has become unbalanced and unproductive. Rather than you using your mind as the magnificent tool that it is and then putting it down when you’re done, your mind is quite literally using you! I would suggest that the result of this incessant thinking is that you aren’t actually thinking any more, but instead, you are being thunk!
Thunking occurs when you cannot stop engaging in and reacting to the train of thoughts passing through your mind. Being THUNK is one of the biggest problems on the planet today. It is a hidden cause of conflict, suffering and stress and is the main reason why you are not experiencing the peace and productivity that you are inherently capable of. If you are being THUNK then you are unwittingly giving the content of your thoughts the unwarranted power to negatively impact your moods, health, relationships, peace and prosperity. Worst of all, it is an utterly unnecessary problem because re-addressing your relationship with your mind is possible for everyone I have met.
People think all the time because they don’t know of a better way to relate to their mind. Prior to learning about the benefits of not thinking, I focused my personal-development efforts on changing my negative thoughts and emotions. Despite great efforts to improve the content of my mind, I found that I still got stressed and my moods continued to go up and down. Why? Because I had not solved the underlying cause of my problems: namely, my habit of thinking.
The Hidden Barrier To Experiencing Life
Life is happening now. It truly is. However, you can end up missing it if you are in your head thinking. This is because although life exists now, your mind only exists by thinking about the past and future. Thinking acts as an invisible barrier that stands between you and the present moment, between you and the experience of peace. I say “invisible” because most people aren’t aware of the impact thinking has on their peace.
Thinking makes you numb to fully experiencing life because your mind is always one step removed from any given experience. The mind cannot experience the present moment; it can only think about the present moment. Similarly, the mind cannot experience peace; it can only think about peace. So as long as you continue to be in your mind thinking, true inner peace will remain out of reach.
Being present and being peaceful are one and the same. You cannot experience one without the other. Knowing this makes experiencing peace supremely simple and brilliantly clear-cut: You are either in the moment experiencing peace or you’re in your head thinking about peace. The choice can be yours!
Exercise – 3C Vision: Using your eyes for a change
In my book, THUNK! and during my one-day Mind Calm Classes, I share a range of techniques for thinking less. One of my personal favorites is ‘3C Vision’.
Believe it or not, by using your eyes in a certain way, you can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which quietens the mind and can help you to begin to notice the inner peace that is always present. In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that it is very hard to think while engaging 3C vision! But don’t take my word for it – try it now.
1. Pick a spot on a wall to look at, ideally above eye level at about a 45-degree angle, so that as you look at it, it feels as though your vision is bumping up against your eyebrows.
2. As you stare at the spot on the wall, effortlessly let your mind go loose and focus all of your attention on the spot. At this point you may find yourself wanting to take a deep breath in and out. Let yourself do so.
3. Notice that within a matter of a few moments, your vision will begin to spread out. You will begin to see more in the peripheral than in the central part of your vision.
4. Now, pay more attention to the peripheral part of your vision than to the central part of your vision. Notice colours, shadows, shapes and so on. Notice what you see on the left and right, above and below. Keep using your peripheral vision – don’t look directly at anything.
5. Continue for as long as you want while noticing how it feels. Notice if your mind has become more still.
With a little practice you will be able to use 3C vision as you go about your day – when reading, out walking, chatting with people, pretty much any time you want to stop thinking and feel calm, confident and content.
© 2013 by Sandy C. Newbigging. Sandy has written 5 books, taught people from 15 countries about his ‘Mind Detox’ and ‘Mind Calm’ methods via his Academy and run fully booked retreats at some of the world’s best health resorts. His work has been seen on television around the globe on channels including Discovery Health.