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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.
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. “A pot on the table in the sitting room! Why should the pot be in the sitting room? Oh, these children...” Your mind goes on. Do you see that your resistance to the pot’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 pot’s location. By changing the pot’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.
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.
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.
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