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Addicted to thoughts - How can I stop thinking?

Addicted to thoughts - How can I stop thinking?

Realizing that my mind is wondering and rarely standing still lately, I started to reflect on myself. What am I talking about when I say "mind"?

"[...] mind is a set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory [...] (it) is the faculty of a human being's reasoning and thoughts. It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions." (Source)

The first step is to accept where we are: For me, it is currently worrying. Worries distract from the most important things in life - being happy, eating, and sleeping. That is obviously not good for anybody. When an event triggers worries, our mind automatically thinks about the knock-on effects. That creates additional worries - a vicious cycle.

Let's take a step back and understand the foundations about thoughts. There is a german saying "Denke nie gedacht zu haben, denn das Denken der Gedanken ist gedankenloses Denken! Denke nie, denn wenn du denkst du denkst, dann denkst du nur du denkst, gedacht doch hast du nie!" which literally means:

Never think, because the thought of thoughts is mindless thinking, never think, because if you think you think, you think only you think, but thought you never have!

Thinking is easier than thought. It is uncomfortable - maybe even unnatural - to not think for a moment. There is a constant feeling of ticking and rumbling going on. But what that really means is making our minds busy for the sake of having a busy mind. If we would take that to communication, I would say the following:

If I talk all the time, I don't have any time to realize what everybody else is saying. At the end, I don't have anything to talk about than my own talking.

If we assume the same for our thoughts that would mean:

If I think about my thoughts all the time, I don't have any time to realize what everybody else is thinking. At the end, I don't have anything to think about than my own thoughts.

There are times where we simply must stop thinking to be able to embrace much more than the busy thinking.

So can I allow my mind to be quiet?

Generally getting a mind quiet means letting our minds alone because it will quiet itself. Removing yourself from distractions like phones, computers, and TVs allows our mind to calm down.

At the end, it takes the effort to discipline our emotions and thoughts by removing distractions and letting the mind calm down. That means for me to take 10 to 20 minutes every (couple) days to sit down and just be.

This blog post was inspired by Alan Watts:

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