- Do you sometimes wonder why your mind follows each thought and idea that pops up?
- Why do you spend time thinking meaningless or unimportant thoughts?
- Why you keep repeating thoughts that make you unhappy, anxious and worried?
The natural tendency of the mind is to be restless and to think constantly, going from one thought to another. It cannot stay still for a moment. It keeps jumping from one thought to another, never standing still.
The Restless Mind Never Stands Still
The restless mind allows thoughts to come and go all the time, from morning till night, unable to stop for a moment. Most of these thoughts are not exactly invited; they just come, occupy our attention for a while, and then disappear, making place for other thoughts.
This is the natural, habitual activity of the mind of most people.
Thoughts, like clouds in the sky, drift here and there.
Like the clouds, thoughts are not stable or permanent. One moment you might be thinking one thought, and the next moment a different thought.
Due to their ceaseless movement, thoughts distract the attention, disturb the focus, and are the reason for lack of concentration.
Thoughts Like Waves
Thoughts also resemble the waves of the ocean, which are always in a state of motion, never standing still.
When you stand on the shore on a windy day, you see wave after wave rushing to the shore, one following the other. The mind is like an ocean, and thoughts are like waves, creating movement and whirlpools in the mind.
The Filters of the Mind
The mind always thinks, analyzes and compares. It likes to find reasons and motives, to ask questions, create problems and try to solve them. It wants to be always active.
Everyone has some sort of a filter in the mind, which works automatically, allowing the mind to accept certain thoughts, let in certain beliefs, and reject others. This is the reason why different people are attracted to different topics.
Some people occupy their minds with thoughts about a certain subject, while others don’t even think about the same subject.
- Why some people are attracted to football, and others don’t?
- Why some people love and admire a certain singer, while other people don’t?
- Why some people constantly think about a certain topic, and others never think about it?
- The reason for all this is the activity of the filter of the mind.
This filter works in an automatic unconscious way. We never stop and say to certain thoughts, ‘Hey, I want you to occupy my attention’, and we never say to other thoughts, ‘go away’. It is an automatic activity.
This filter in the mind started to be built from infancy. It was built by the suggestions and words of our parents and teachers, by the people we have met, and by the experiences we have gone through.
This explains why someone’s mind might be occupied with a certain kind of thoughts, and another person’s mind occupied with other thoughts.
Other common thoughts are fears and worries, which do not allow the mind to rest and enjoy a sense of peace, happiness and freedom.
The Restless Mind in Action
- Events, situations or words we hear, have an effect on the mind, and produce thoughts in accordance with them.
- The mind is like a thought factory, working in shifts, day and night, producing thoughts.
The mind also gets thoughts directly from the surrounding world. The space around us is full of thoughts, which we constantly pick, allow to pass through our minds, and then we pick new thoughts. It is like catching fish in the ocean, throwing them back into the water, and then catching new ones.
This activity of the restless mind occupies our attention all the time. Now our attention is on this thought, and then, a few seconds later on another one. We spend a lot of energy and attention on these passing thoughts, most of them being unimportant, wasting our time and energy.
Constant Thinking Means Lack of Freedom
If we cannot stop our thoughts and give our mind some rest, and cannot control the flow of thoughts in our mind, it means that we lack of freedom. It means that we are subjugated by the whims of the mind and allow thoughts to control us, our attention, and our life.
- If we lack control over our thoughts, it is as if some outside power is always putting a thought in front of us, making us pay attention to it.
- It is like a relentless boss constantly giving us a job to do.
This automatic process of the mind prevents us from focusing on our work and on our goals. It prevents us from seeing opportunities and from improving our life.
This automatic process of the mind keeps us tied in one place and does not allow us to experience new things.
You can Relax the Nonstop Activity of the Mind
With some training we can calm down the activity of the mind.
When we are able to calm down or stop this restlessness of of the mind, we expand our horizons and expand our world. We step out of the past, and are able to focus on the present.
Calming down the mind has great benefits. You become more energetic and happy, when your mind learns to be silent. Constant thinking is not a must.
You make better decisions, and use your time more efficiently, without this habit of the mind.
When do we enjoy real freedom and feel calm and happy?
Only when we are able to choose our thoughts or order the mind to be quiet.
We enjoy a sense of freedom, when we are able to decide which thought to think, and which one to reject.
We live in freedom, when we are able to stop the incessant flow our thoughts.
Stopping the flow of thoughts might look like an infeasible feat, but concentration exercises and meditation, can eventually lead to this condition.
It is within your reach to calm the restless and constantly thinking mind and to enjoy inner peace.
The mind is restless, but you can calm it down. This will improve the quality of your life, help you focus your attention, help you stop worrying, and bring you more control over your life.
Image source – DepositPhotos