How To Stop The Mind From Thinking [39 Tips & Insights]
How do you stop compulsive thoughts, worry, and obsessive thinking? In this article you will find 39 tips and insights about the mind and obsessive thoughts (worry thoughts). This makes you feel alive and it makes you feel the stillness in yourself, peace of mind, energy, joy, alertness and much more!
1 | Insight | Lost in thought: a robbery on your life energy …
Your insane mind robs you of your life energy. When you are in thoughts, your attention is completely absorbed by thoughts. At that moment attention and energy leaves the body: all energy flows to the thought. Then there is no more space and energy for something else: for sounds that happen around you, for creativity, for something new, for action, for being with others …
When you don’t think, the greatest amount of attention and energy possible is released. Max Verstappen can only take off to top level because he has full attention to the wheels. He doesn’t think about it, but is completely focused on the wheels.
2 | Insight | First a story by Eckhart Tolle about how ‘just treacherous’ worrying can be
Opposite Eckhart Tolle, on a crowded train, was a woman in her early 30s. The seat next to her was empty: no one wanted to sit next to her, because she seemed mentally disturbed. She was tense and talked loudly to herself all the time, in an angry voice. She had no idea what was going on around her, and she was unaware of other people because she was so deep in her thoughts.
It was Eckhart’s stop already, and by chance the woman speaking aloud had to get off there too, so he decided to follow her. She was still in that angry dialogue. She was mentally disturbed , but she always seemed to know where she was going: the university library. Just like him! Was she a teacher, a student, a librarian? This is for the smartest people, right? How can such a crazy person be part of this place of wisdom? She disappeared in an elevator. In the toilet, Eckhart washed his hands: “I hope I don’t become like her.”
When the man next to him looked up, Eckhart realized, “I had the thought, ‘I hope I don’t become like her’, not only thought, but also muttered out loud! “I’m just like her now!” She and I differ little from each other. Wasn’t my mind just as overactive as hers? Thinking without awareness is people’s dilemma. The mad woman was thinking out loud. I thought, above all, in my head. If she was crazy, everyone, including me, was crazy too! ‘
3 | Insight | How did our (compulsive) thoughts come about?
Perhaps it is nice to know how thoughts arise. Your thoughts are only conditionings that have arisen from the moment you were born. These are concepts acquired in the past from, for example, your upbringing, culture, education, what you have read, your fears and what you have received from teachers, friends and TV programs.
If you had lived three houses away in your childhood , with different parents, cultural backgrounds and friends, your thoughts – your conditioning – would have been completely different. If three such houses make big difference, how would it be to believe that your thoughts and inner comments are ? We will return to this insidious identification in a subsequent section.
Of all the words that pour out of our mouths every day … how big is the portion that is really ours? How often do you say something that is really original? Do we actually have our own words and thoughts? Or have all our words and thoughts ever been taken from other people?
The mind is an accumulation of what we have experienced, seen on TV, heard from others … If you look back ten years ago, you will notice, ‘Then I thought I knew a lot, but now I only know there really the right thing about it. ‘ Then your mind knew much less. Ten years from now you will look back on now and say that what you know now is nothing.
There are many people who rely only on what they have learned in the past . For example what they heard three or four generations ago or what someone else’s opinion is what they have ever heard. By relying solely on this conditioning, these people are continuously in a state of “intellectual block.” These people forget to trust their own experience and only trust what they hear or what others say.
These people rely only on the physical plane, which is what they once heard, and forget to recognize that there are other planes as well, such as the heart, body, fantasy and creativity.
We are much bigger and deeper than the mind. So don’t believe your mind. We may love our mind, but trusting the mind (instead of the heart) is a mistake.
4 | Insight | Your thoughts are a wonderful tool… until it turns into worry and obsessions
Thinking in itself is not dysfunctional: it is a wonderful tool. The dysfunction starts when you look for yourself in it and take it for who you are. Then it becomes your selfish thinking, or worrying (obsessive thoughts), and it takes over your life …
The world is full of hugely successful people who are unhappy and on drugs. How could that be?
The thinking is basically a superb tool if you use it at the right times. But most of the time it uses you by cleverly deceiving you. You believe you are your mind. That is the misconception. As a result, you don’t get any peace of mind. Your mind may be a great student, but a terrible master.
Once the mind has taken the master role, it will cause unrest. The mind wants to be separate. That is why it wants problems, conflicts, enemies, defends, attacks … This is the pain body, or the ego.
“Turning your mind off” is not anti-intellectual. It doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have any thoughts at all. The point is not to be fooled by the mind.
5 | Tip | Be the master of your mind: use your thoughts as an instrument / student and without ‘self’ in it
So use the mind and thoughts as these wonderful students and as these wonderful instruments. They will be there for you when needed. In fact, it will be much more powerful when it is really needed.
So know: your thinking ability is a means, an instrument for certain tasks. When the task is finished, you put it down. A good ratio would be the 80/20 rule: being 80% and thinking 20%. So now and then they pass by, your thoughts. And this time without yourself! If ‘self’ were in it, you would suffer. If you looked for ‘self’ in form, you would suffer.
Self lives for you from now on outside the thoughts. At first your thoughts were full of self. You became so identified with it that the thoughts became you. For example, you felt personally attacked if someone questioned your mental position (with which you were identified). Now you know better.
I am not my television. I’m the guy / woman on the couch watching the TV.
We have been conditioned to experience that the cacophony of thoughts in our head … is what we are. And as soon as you become detached from those thoughts and become still … you experience the still, subtle voice of your inner wisdom. That’s what you are.
What is one way to master your mind? By giving it a task . In this way you become an ’employer’ and the mind becomes the ’employee’, as it should be. What is an example of such a task? For example, observing the breath , a thought or another object, such as a sound. Now you remember again that you are the observer . This is meditation.
6 | Insight | Your conditioned thoughts leave no room for discovery
New thoughts, new insights, new realizations can arise from a state of ‘no thoughts’. This does not work if there are already old thoughts (conditioning) that have occupied all the space.
Suppose you are visiting a museum – and you take the headset guide. That commentary from the headphones is based on conditioning: you experience the richness of the museum through a voice that tells you what to think about it, and there is no more room for discovery. You can see those headphones as a metaphor for your conditioned mind (thoughts).
That voice even tells you whether you like or dislike that or that person you just met. There is no room for discovery if this thinking is on. What you experience through your conditioned thoughts lacks depth, true life. It’s conceptual.
– Eckhart Tolle
How different is the meaning of your experience if you don’t think! Sometimes you look at nature for a moment and your thoughts are still before your thought maybe decided to like it very much (which is another concept). You do not interpret what you see for a moment. Perception takes place instead of conception. You don’t know anything.
There is the unconditioned. Stop thinking for a moment and there it is.
7 | Insight | Sunk away in your own thoughts? That is also a robbery of your happy moments
If you just think and immediately think about what you see, you don’t see real beauty. You attach labels to them. You are superficially in a park: ‘Oh what beautiful flowers. Okay what’s next to think about? Oh yes, I have to finish that and that important thing. ‘
What is the English word for the mind? Mind. Now think about the English sentence: ‘I mind’ and: ‘I don’t mind’. What do these sentences mean?
Or you think of a memory from long ago as a child, when you saw how beautiful a flower was. Meanwhile, you miss the moment of happiness of actually experiencing the flower in front of you. If you don’t let go of your mind and knowledge, you see without seeing and you hear without hearing. All the beauty of the flower is obscured by the mind.
Most people do not live in a living reality, but a conceptualized one. Your thoughts are not reality, but a representation of reality.
8 | Tip | Being aware of your thoughts is just all it takes to get the job done
The biggest step you can take is only to become aware of your thoughts. The consequence of becoming aware of those compulsive thoughts is the following: you no longer supply your mind with energy, so that the thought quickly loses all its power. Involuntary thinking is interrupted, at first for short periods, but increasingly longer.
The next time you respond to something, observe yourself. Know that it is not you, just your thoughts. Also pay attention to whether the thoughts are in the past or future.
They are all thoughts. All fiction. Don’t take them as facts. Stay as the Self . You are the only fact. You are quiet and peaceful here . And you are a witness to everything that happens.
This tip helps me a lot … This morning I saw my thinking as a subject, just as a chair is a subject. And bang bang boom I was in the moment.
– One of the comments at the bottom of this article
The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the thoughts and you are not even ‘the thinker’, but that you are the intelligent space of which, among other things, the thinker is a part.
The idea that you are the thinker is itself one of a thousand thoughts.
Noticing worry and becoming aware of it is powerful! If you worry about involuntary movement or restless movement of the body observes , there is a little awareness. Then you are aware enough to notice something in yourself and to notice that you are doing something. Then there is presence. Then the movement is no longer conditioned.
This awareness is all it takes. You don’t have to change anything, otherwise you have a different dilemma: ‘Is something wrong with me? I have to fix something! ‘ Nothing is wrong. Just being aware of something is all it takes.
Just notice that you are not in touch with the present moment. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. In fact, it means that there is something really good about you. Because you are aware that you are not in touch with the present moment and that is all it takes.
If you notice something, nothing is wrong. Then there is presence! What could possibly be wrong? If something were really wrong, you wouldn’t even know. People who do go wrong have no idea that they are worrying or exhibiting other unconscious behavior.
Terrorists don’t think there is anything wrong with them. They think there is something wrong with others!
Beware: The mind, however, can come back after that moment of consciousness to darken the consciousness that was there for a while by formulating a judgment about it: “See, you can’t, so there is something wrong with you. You see, everyone is present in the here and now and you are the only one who cannot do it. ” That is a new thought and a new mental commentary, which is also about the feeling of ‘self’. So the weight of ‘self’ can even increase.
The more you discover within yourself what was previously unconscious, the more you fulfill your destiny on the planet, the more you become a manifestation of the rising consciousness. Because you go beyond identification with form! If you notice something, it is not you!
9 | Tip | Believe in reality instead of thoughts: Reality = Good = God (Byron Katie)
Stress is always caused by a specific thought. That thought is often a distortion of reality. Investigate that with Byron Katie’s four questions. If you then also start to believe in that thought (s), it is suffering.
Don’t believe your thoughts (and beliefs): they are just thoughts, not the truth. We may love our mind , but trusting the mind (instead of the heart) is a mistake. Do you believe your thoughts? That’s kidding yourself: keeping yourself out of reality.
A lot of terrible things have happened to me, some of which actually happened.
– Mark Twain
The thought about the situation determines the situation. A situation itself is neutral / empty. Situations don’t make you unhappy, they can at most give you physical pain. Thoughts make you unhappy, and interpretations and stories you tell yourself often take the form of complaining.
The mind leads us to believe that all those judgments we make are all real. Dont believe any of it. Ever.
Suffering and depression are then a natural alarm that warns us that we are attached to thoughts: that we are trapped in the dream of thoughts. First we become aware of the feeling, then the thought. So the feeling is an alarm that there is a thought you need to deal with. When you do that, the internal argument will disappear. What remains is love, love for yourself, other people and everything and everyone around us.
Negative thoughts are also Divine, for they allow us to learn.
10 | Tip | Thoughts may just be there… as something you perceive!
The mind is still active? Let it be active. Just accept it and let it be. What you accept, you put yourself over it. That is a miracle. What you fight stays.
Sometimes you may think that meditation is all about not thinking. And you might want to stop that thinking. What do you have to do then? You don’t have to stop them: they can just be there! They come and go. The same applies to everything, including emotions, for example.
- They come.
- You experience them without making it personal, so without identifying yourself to them.
- They feel welcome because they are accepted and processed. This makes them go again.
In short: you are the observer of the thoughts.
One of the ways you put that acceptance into practice is the EFT method.
11 | Tip | Familiarize yourself with the 3 metaphors below for your mind
Here you will find three well-known metaphors to process the previous tip with and observe your thoughts without thoughts and judgment …
Metaphor 1: Cars come and go – Just allow your mind to think if it wants to
It is as if we are sitting along the road and are looking at all kinds of cars . We just observe them, so we don’t have to do anything with them. For example, we don’t have to stop them, otherwise we will cause a collision with ourselves and cars behind. Nor do we have to chase them, which distracts us.
We just sit on the side and we watch them. It’s that simple, and it even means that thinking is allowed. We will simply observe that thinking! The same goes for breaths: our body knows how to do that. We are just witnessing it.
A well-known similar metaphor is that of bumper cars. During this meditation you will look at your thoughts as if they were bumper cars. You don’t step into it, so you don’t join the chaos, but you stand to the side to perceive it. You also literally say to yourself: “Ah, there is a bumper car, I will not sit in it: I will keep looking at it on the side until it passes.”
Metaphor 2: Train your mind little by little, just like a horse
Think of a horse that we have attached to a pole with a long rope. This allows the horse to move freely, but it cannot run away because it stays close to the pole. What if we keep making the rope a little bit shorter? Then the horse does not notice that he can go a little less far every time.
If we make that rope a little bit shorter often enough, we have trained the horse not to go that far. In the same way, we train our minds to keep thinking a little less. So it is safe to think now and then, there is nothing wrong with that!
Metaphor 3: Think of your thoughts as the weather forecast
You can watch clouds , and after a while it always clears up again. Likewise with your mind. Sometimes things can go very fast and start thinking a lot. You can observe that, and know that it will clear up again after a while!
Thoughts always come and go. Like leaves in the wind. The only ones that stay are the ones you hold on to.
12 | Tip | Break the worrying pattern with a pattern break
The mind is insane. The mind can only go in vicious circles. Everything it does to get out of the trap pushes it back into the trap more firmly. You run faster and faster on a hamster wheel, and even the guru is deliberately instructing you to stay in it more and more, until you realize that it doesn’t work out like that: that you’re focusing on your thoughts for the wrong reason (fear).
Then you suddenly come out. And the best way to suddenly get out of a pattern is a pattern break. You can find all the ways to achieve this in the article on pattern breaks. You will immediately read in the first tip there: humor frees us from the grip of our thoughts.
You don’t have to take your thoughts seriously. Once you’ve made a thought: laugh about it! Thoughts have no power. Only you can empower them.
The simplest way to break your worrying pattern is to keep taking your breath when it happens. Do this often, and not just once. The more you practice, the easier it becomes for your system to break through the worrying pattern and get peace and clarity through your breathing.
13 | Tip | Take action, because then thoughts will come into balance
We can catch the answer from this entire article in one sentence: Action is the # 1 way to stop excessive thinking.
We already know that thoughts are a very useful tool, provided they are sometimes turned off. An excellent way to achieve this is to actually do something. Put your body in motion, start an activity or a task and take action in this way.
Overwhelm the thinking mind with action.
– American saying
Action is worry’s worst enemy.
– American saying
The reason people have problems is that they have too much time to think.
– Richard Bandler
Life is like cycling. To keep your balance you have to keep moving.
– Albert Einstein
It makes so much sense! We also need to avoid thinking at certain times in our lives so that we create experiences that we can think about later. If we just keep thinking constantly, then at some point we have to think about our own thoughts … So actually do something with your life and go on an adventure so that you can start thinking about it in a healthy way afterwards!
Worrying and worrying is a useful alarm bell, but no alarm bell has ever put out a fire. Action is also needed.
Are you doing an activity, such as bungee jumping? There is only one way to bungee jump: jump. What’s the point of thinking in that? It just makes it more difficult. Just jump.
Therefore, read this paragraph in another article of mine about breaking old patterns. You cannot break through your old thinking patterns with… more thinking patterns. With action!
14 | Tip | So don’t listen to your thoughts – but listen to your intuition – to get out of worrying
Do you want to stop worrying? That will not work logically , using your mind. You cannot break through your old thinking patterns with … more thinking patterns.
The voice that got you in trouble is not the one that is going to get you out. The good news is, fortunately, there is a loving, wise, pure voice somewhere . It is only much deeper in us and it is much quieter . It is the voice of your heart, or intuition.
So don’t hide your loud thoughts. Let it speak. Simply be aware of your head and the much quieter heart.
My head says this, “I’m late, I have to take this road.”
My heart says this, “Go take the new way.”
You don’t have to turn off the worry / mind / ego. You can make friends with it and make sure it doesn’t become your boss.
It’s like being in a car with the radio and navigation system both on. As long as you listen to the navigation system, you will get where you want to go. But we often listen to the radio as if it were our navigation system …
Listen to your intuition. Here are tips on how to do that. Small Spoiler: The easiest way to achieve this is to do what you like and what makes you relax. Visiting friends, walking, playing, laughing, singing, dancing … anything that relaxes you, calms you and opens your heart! What do you like best? Go and do that.
15 | Tip | Get into your body
That which is furthest from the ground is the most unfounded … ungrounded … and thus secondary. Your body and your heart come first, the head comes second. Even look at evolution: the mind developed late in evolution. By moving out of your thoughts into your body again, you create space.
Our thoughts are our only limit.
Get out of your head, into your body! You can achieve this, for example, by:
- To move
- Dancing (turn on music!)
- To breathe
- Touch something.
- Something to observe.
- Listen to a sound.
- Looking at your body. Look at your body. You’re fine.
- Using your senses. For example, do these exercises for sensory acumen.
- Just move your fingers or your toes. Feel your feet on the ground. Then you cannot be in your head.
- Turn on your peripheral vision . You focus on a point and at the same time you are alert to everything around it.
The heart comes first, then your head. The heart knows, your mind thinks.
16 | Tip | Do you worry too much? Then use your heart before your mind from now on
Think less and love more. Worry is not love. If you look from your heart, there are no worries and you see yourself and others as already whole. Trust in your own goodness and the goodness of others.
Tell people wise and loving things. Wish people a wonderful day. Send them your love. Pray that they may have pure joy.
Have you done all those things? Only then is it time to also leave the mind behind. Then it could just be that suddenly there is much less to worry about. Put the heart first!
Life is easier than you think, but harder when you think.
– Guido Weijers
17 | Insight | Why does the body / heart come first, and then the mind?
The heart came first in evolution, the pre-frontal cortex (you can think) came last . The pre-frontal cortex (the front part of the neo cortex) is the latest evolutionary development in our brain and is very functional.
With that newest piece of brain you can think, keep control and remember advanced, but there are ‘costs’ involved: past, future and the existence of problems. Every problem can be traced back to what you think mentally in that pre-frontal cortex. There is never a problem in the here and now.
What came before the pre-frontal cortex? The mammalian brain, which allowed us to feel emotions.
That’s what came the reptilian brain, including the amygdala. That is the oldest brain, which entails the fight-flight response (the stress response) and the urge for dopamine (and thus the urge for repetition / addiction). And all with the aim of survival.
Our brains are made to survive, not to be happy.
However, the heart and body had always been there. Honor the heart and body by putting them first.
18 | Tip | Observe!
When you really perceive, without the noise of your thinking, you see the beauty in nature or people. For many people, that moment is very short, because before they know it, their mind starts again and they are completely identified with thoughts again. ‘Oh yes I have yet to do that, oh yes that, oh and that, and yesterday that happened …’
You then no longer have an eye for the life that is happening in front of you. Everything is life, including non-moving objects. But if you look through the screen of the mind, everything becomes dead. Then it is not perception, but conception.
We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. By going out of our minds we quickly come to our senses.
– Alan Watts
19 | Insight | Being lost in thought (worrying) leads to suffering
In addition to stress, worrying also causes fear, suffering, concepts, labels, judgments and interpretations. The mind not only has the capacity to create problems, it does it all the time.
If you let your mind go out on the streets, most of them would have been arrested before lunch.
Your thoughts get in the way of real relationships: relationships with yourself, and relationships with other people. Thought is almost always in Duka. This is a Sanskrit word, meaning “suffering”, but also unsatisfying and misery.
The only block ever (to love, joy or success, for example) is your thoughts.
20 | Tip | Be in the here and now
The now holds the key to liberation, but you cannot find it as long as you are your thoughts. When you get into compulsive thinking, you avoid what is there. You don’t want to be where you are: here. Now. When you are in the here and now , without the intervention of your mind, there is never a problem. Everything is already good, everything is enough.
Stay here, connected to your inner energy field. Otherwise you will become restless and start thinking. When you are restless, you have lost contact with a deeper sense of being, and you have gone to the head. Not only worry, but also unconscious body movements and restless emotions can take place. Often you are not aware of it.
I can see you in this moment. And in this moment you are present – and not thinking. There is nothing to think about. I am not preparing what I am going to say. It just comes out. Now you are the space that everyone is. Now you are connected to everything.
It is really clear to see when people are not fully here and now. Their legs are shaking. Their eyes are restless and go in all directions. They are looking for something else, a different place. They have turned to their heads.
This is normal for many people. Many sit, stand and move that way. However, it should be far from normal. If a dog did all those things, it had to be taken to the vet. Imagine a dog doing all of that. There is clearly something wrong with the dog. But in a human it is normal.
Be in the here and now and worry will dissolve.
21 | Insight | The highest possible quality does not come from conditioning (past experiences), but from ‘Being’ in your body
Thought is only a tiny part of the vast intelligence within you. Beauty, love, creativity, joy, and inner peace come from something beyond comprehension. There is clearly something at work that is much more intelligent than you think.
Smart, wise people never say, “I already knew that.” They understand: the more information I gather, the less I can really know.
The functioning of your body and cells fills books. There is no thinking involved. Let them work together, think and be, for great effectiveness. You can then let all properties such as creativity work fully.
When you are not thinking you are more intelligent, more awake and more alive. Your words are charged with the energy of that presence.
Nothing creative can come from the use of the mind. The mind can be a wonderful tool for shaping something, but the inspiration comes from something deeper: calm, presence. Go into your Body.
A child whose concepts and skills have not yet been developed, a child who has not yet been taken over by his language and speech … When such children smile at you, it is pure joy of being. Pure thoughtless awareness. That is beautiful.
What arises in the now is the unconditioned. You enter a timeless state of consciousness. You speak, and the words come automatically. It is fresh, new, creative … It makes you a deeply creative being. And action comes out.
We are always new.
22 | Insight | By the way, that true intelligence of ‘Being’ belongs to – and is available for for everyone
And those intelligent words and deeds belong to no one: they are unconditioned, picked up from the hold of now. You are then, as it were, a channel in which the power of the now manifests itself. It is therefore about perceiving and experiencing the world without the baggage that you have built up in your mind throughout your life. you are then free from that whole person you thought you were: the sum-total of your condition.
Now these words come through me as I type this article, but these words could also have been spoken through your mouth, if you are connected to ‘being’. You will then find that the words come naturally. They don’t come from the conditioned mind.
The one who reads these words is the one who wrote them. The answer to everything is in that sense.
– Jeff Foster
The mind is involved in expressing it in form, with words. But the words arise from the unconditioned. fresh, new, creative. And so you become a creative being. You become one with something much bigger and more powerful than your little mind, while the mind pretends that the mind is all there is to it.
You can never understand with your mind how the totality of ‘being’ comes into effect. No human mind can comprehend even a fragment of that totality. It would be absurd to believe that the human mind can understand the totality of the universe, and then explain it, using the 26 letters we know in our alphabet. It would be absurd to believe that the mind is the most intelligent resource available to us.
If you really want to fully experience something or someone, you have to let go of everything you know. You miss the true life, holiness, depth and fullness of something if you experience it only through concept.
It is not that you are doing those intelligent actions at that moment. The totality of ‘being’ takes action through you. You know you have arrived in being when you notice that when you speak, you speak very powerfully. But you feel even more powerful when you don’t speak, or when other people don’t speak. That is a sign that you are there. Words are nothing if you compare them to the enormous quality of life, quality and intelligence of ‘being’.
23 | Tip | Embrace the not-knowing, and the highest possible quality will come (without worry)
There is tremendous power in not knowing. Everything you need to know and everything you need to be able to do comes from the state of not knowing. And to the mind it seems like a state of ignorance. Energy that was absorbed in thinking is released in the now. The quality can then come in the form of action, or words, or an expression of love.
Do not think of an answer in advance for what is to come later. Rely on this creative scene of ‘no answers yet.’ Don’t skip the treasures and intelligence of this moment.
What you already know ≠ everything else in the world (infinite). All solutions, all knowledge, all insights, all fantasies, all actions, movements, words to say … Take the context of writing a book: when you let go of what you already know or have heard, there is space. And that space fills with right action, with words, with new worlds and characters.
Tremendous knowledge and wisdom comes as soon as you let go of the need to know and explain.
Respond to the feedback of the moment, instead of focusing your energies on whatever you have accumulated in your mind that might be helpful.
Don’t know anything. Gurus, teachers and students have never existed. Love is the only thing that ever existed.
– Jeff Foster
When you let go of what you knew, you no longer think about what you are doing, but you keep everything that arises in the intelligence of your consciousness. Not-knowing is an exercise to meet everything that passes by in ‘the hold of now’, in order to subsequently be able to face every challenging situation with that clear, conscious, alert presence.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you don’t know anything.
The more knowledge, the more doubts.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To know that you are ignorant is the beginning of all wisdom.
– Viviane from Avalon
Within that alert space, that means an intelligent one who is much grander than your conditioned mind, you can now deal with those challenging situations. Many people who were in a life-threatening situation have experienced this.
The mind, the “I” created by your mind, stops, steps aside, and you are suddenly able to deal with the situation. You become much better, more capable, more charismatic, more creative, and more intelligent than you thought you were.
– Eckhart Tolle
You are no longer analyzing during the activity. “Now I have to walk there, now I have to say this and that, should I do that or not …”
Tip: go into a familiar situation with a ‘beginner mind’. Then you have nothing to think about and you go at full power. My Yoga teacher once said, “Whether this is your first time, second time, or tenth year, pretend it’s the first time.”
A deeper wisdom , a deeper ‘knowing’, that cannot be caught in a concept, then awakens ! Mastery in any field is achieved when the thinking mind is no longer involved, or at least has assumed a spare role.
The truth cannot be rehearsed. As a wise man once said, “I don’t know.”
As Eckhart Tolle puts it: There is no decision-making process anymore. Spontaneous, right action happens and you don’t. A power that is much greater than you, but that is one with your essence, takes over. You become one with a greater awareness. It acts, speaks, and does the job.
The best answer comes for the one who is most comfortable with not knowing.
24 | Tip | Release all of your generalizations to get into a state of not knowing
How do you receive the wisdom of not knowing? How do you get into that not-knowing attitude? In any case, all the tips in this article will help – with meditation as the primary means – and there is one more thing you can do: be alert to generalizations, distortions, omissions and presuppositions.
- Let go of your existing presuppositions , because they have a limiting effect. Be like a child experiencing something for the first time. This way you can get a neutral and fresh picture of a certain experience or situation. So do your best to ‘know nothing’ about the person or situation.
- Do not use omissions, distortions, and generalizations. “Ah, in Germany the loaves are elongated.” ‘Not necessarily. All we really know is that some breads in Germany are elongated. But to be really precise: there is at least one bread in Germany that is elongated. An aid model for looking at the world in this way is the meta model. More information about this phenomenon can be found in the explanation of the communication model.
- Apply the art of non-judgment .
- Apply all other tips from this article. So read on!
“I don’t know …” “Yes! How great!’
25 | Tip | Do you really want deep and meaningful relationships with people? Then don’t think, but experience without prejudice
What you can’t think about in the other person is who they are, and that’s who you are. Fantasizing and thinking about people, how they wake up next to us in the morning, for example … If you do that, you don’t meet anyone at that moment: it doesn’t exist. You think you are interacting and in a relationship with other people, but you are only in a relationship with your mind at the time.
Prejudices are also a form of thinking. Prejudice means to think, instead of actually seeing the person. You only see your own concept of that person, instead of actually seeing the other person.
26 | Insight | It’s simple: not knowing will work for you naturally and spontaneously
Once you are in the now, wise, right actions and ideas naturally arise. You also want to be able to take the best action. You can then leave that completely to your subconscious. Allow ideas to arise, notice how spontaneous they are. Your only job is to pick them out from the sea of wisdom that comes to you. And that’s what the subconscious does for you …
… Notice what the response your unconscious is giving you. It can be a memory, it can be a creative solution, it can be an association, a feeling, a sound, a word or an act. Trust the subconscious. Just allow the words to come up. As if you put a paddle in the water. The waves arise naturally. You don’t force them. You let them happen and you collect them.
When nothing is certain, everything is possible.
When I come home from a television analysis, my wife asks, What did you say? Then I say: Even if you kill me.
– Johan Cruijff
You don’t need to know anything to be a spiritual master. Just be continuous with what is. As long as you ‘are’ like that, you are the spiritual teacher. What is then needed in the moment will come through you. It does not come from your acquired knowledge. You will never get the spiritual teacher: you can only be, to be.
“I don’t know” is the best answer.
The best way is if you are not ready, if you know nothing, have nothing to say, have nothing to hand over. You must have space. In other words, get out of the way. get yourself (ego) out of the way. Then it flows through you.
You suddenly get ideas and inspiration for your work, book, project or article – sometimes in a seemingly endless stream – when you take your attention away with your conscious, analytical, logical brain, pause your work and take a walk, shower or bicycles.
27 | Insight | ‘I think, therefore I am’, is that correct?
‘I think therefore I am’ – Descartes.
But that thinking voice in my head, is that me? Then who is the one who listens to it?
Thinking is the way of the ego. 100 years after Descartes, there was another philosopher: Sartes. He found out the following: if you are aware of ‘I think therefore I am’, you are no longer thinking. The consciousness that says, “I am,” is not the same consciousness that thinks. When you know that you are dreaming, you are awake in the dream: a new dimension.
You are not your thoughts. You are the one who realizes that he has thoughts. If we go one step further, then you are the space in which all of this takes place.
If you look around you can already see confirmed that Descartes was not quite right. Most people are so completely identified with the voice in their head, the ceaseless flow of involuntary and obsessive thinking, and the emotions associated with it, that it is safe to describe as “mind possessed.” Then you think you are your thoughts. That is selfish thinking, because your sense of me, ego, is in every thought, memory, reaction, opinion, emotion.
You believe you no longer exist when you stop thinking, so we keep thinking.
What a liberation to know that the voice in my head is not who I am! To stop creating my identity from a flow of thought. To be unconscious means to be completely identified with thoughts. You can’t think about it because you are. It can be you, because it is you.
You are the storyteller. Not the story.
You are not the thought, you are the one looking at the thought. And when you realize that, the thought starts to leave. You let go of an ‘identity’, and that can be difficult because you may have invested your whole life in it: that false identification with your thoughts.
‘Knowledge is power.’ – Francis Bacon
But a better phrase for this statement would be “Knowledge is potential power.” Knowledge is not power. Application is much more powerful.
28 | Insight | I am the space containing, among other things, the thinker & the dreamer
To be aware of the fact that you are aware is to be aware of the fact that you are there. You can question everything, but not that you are there. Because I don’t know what I am because the shape has a short life span. But the fact that there is something here that knows that the form is short-lived, there is no doubt that it has reality.
We don’t know for sure, but who says we’re not dreaming? If this life is a dream, something must be real, because the dream is real to someone or something: because there must also be a dreamer . There must then be a light, a space in which the dream takes place. Whether or not it is a dream: you are. I am. There can be no doubt about that.
Then you realize: you are not the character. You are the dreamer of the character , the creator of the character. You made it all up. Know yourself as that consciousness. You are the dreamer. So you are not the dream. So you are not your thoughts. That does not mean that the dream disappears, but the dream becomes more pleasant. You don’t lose yourself in it anymore. Read more about this in the article about awakening .
The good news is: you can instantly ‘wake up’ and be free from the dream. It can happen at any time. And again: then you are not ‘happy’ 100% of the time. Then you still have gloomy moments, just like any other person, only you no longer lose yourself in them.
You just have to recognize the dream as a dream. You don’t have to change anything. Just recognize that it is not real. That life is a big movie or drama. And not just any one – the best ever made.
When you wake up from this story, the story will not end. Nothing changes. Your normal life continues. You still wake up suddenly in the morning, put on your clothes, go to work … The dream continues, but is seen through. It is recognized as a dream. It becomes transparent, lighter, less severe and more pleasant.
You know then that nothing in that dream can ever hurt you. The sad or scary scenes, for example. You now actually see the previously opaque things as what they are: concepts. Nothing has changed and at the same time everything has changed. You finally see that the wonder of the here and now has always been there, here, now.
You know that you are playing that you are Pietje. That Pietje figure, that ‘I’ with his personality and preferences is just a thought that takes place. That you (with small letter) is no more than a thought. That you with a small letter consists of past and future: thought forms.
We don’t have to solve our problems – change anything about the dream – because solving the problem is also part of the dream. The character who solves his problems is a fictional person who tries to solve his fictional problems.
The problems in the movie aren’t real. The actor finishes the day, takes off his make-up, puts on his normal clothes and leaves the film set.
– Analogy of Jeff Foster
29 | Tip | Read these bullet points for peace of mind through breaking free from the mind
Can you cure obsessions? Perhaps the bullet points below will give more clarity about the redemption of the mind.
- Not being able to stop thinking is a horrible torment, but almost everyone suffers from it so it is considered normal.
- You cannot argue with a fully conscious person (who is one with himself). After all, arguing requires thinking. Such a person cannot have conflict, not even inner conflict. He no longer sees things as bad, but as something that is just there.
- One of the parts of the Heightened Awareness Exercise is awareness, acceptance and observation of your mind and thoughts that arise.
- Not-thinking can be uncomfortable at first if you were only busy with thinking year after year. You will notice at the outset how rarely you are comfortable when you are not thinking.
30 | Insight | How we flee in vain from our mind through addictions
An example of a way in which we try to falsely escape our thoughts is watching TV. Your mind then no longer produces thoughts: mind at zero. But your mind is now linked to the stream of thought from the TV, and is absorbing it. So it is linked to the TV version of collective thinking.
Advertisers and the government know that, and pay millions to determine your thoughts at the time. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts. And they usually succeed in that too. TV therefore causes thoughts to have a hold of you, not that you are above them.
Like alcohol: what a relief to the mind! But what a loss of consciousness … You pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Hence, these things also have a high addictive quality.
An hour later you are still watching TV. The off button seems to be the only thing you can’t press. Not because there is something interesting to see on it, but precisely because there is nothing interesting to look at. The more trivial and the more meaningless it is, the more addictive it is. If it were interesting, it would make your thinking think for itself.
The good feeling you get after a few glasses has to do with your thinking being turned off , and you suddenly feel a bit more alive, and that little ego entity has no grip on you anymore: it touches a bit more loosely and you are a bit more free. So it gives you a sense of liberation. However, this is a pseudo-liberation. It has addictive impulses, more and more, until you eventually fall into unconsciousness. That’s why I don’t recommend it.
Addiction takes over. For example, it takes over your behavior and the voice in your head. When you identify with the addiction, you don’t consciously know what you are doing. “How did that cigarette get into my hand?”
What is the solution? When you notice this happening, take three conscious breaths . Be aware of the compulsive tendency. Ask yourself: who is talking, who is acting here? Your addiction. Then do 3 conscious breaths again. When there is presence in you, you no longer feel the need to drink.
31 | Tip | Shift from thinking to conscious presence
Read the article on awakening , because spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thoughts. Stop defining yourself. You will not die, but will come to life.
When you are with others, do not be there as a function or role, but as a field of conscious presence, rather than something already defined, already established. That is limiting. One thing is clear: in the here and now you do not come through your mind. This is about a deeper connection that our mind cannot understand. But we can be conscious participants!
Be there as an unconditioned entity.
32 | Tip | Find and create silence
Find the silence. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence. This is ideal if you keep having a worrying voice in your head, fear, doubt and uncertainty. Simply seek the silence.
The silence is a friend that never betrays you.
It is important to become still within yourself with meditation. Because all problems are created within us. So we also have to look for the solutions within ourselves.
A man is looking for his house key in the street, around the lanterns so that he can see clearly. His neighbor comes to his aid, they search together for fifteen minutes and then the neighbor asks: “Where did you lose it?” “I lost him inside.” “If you lost it inside, why are you looking for your key outside on the street?”
You can solve all problems within yourself. With silence within yourself. Find the realm of silence in you, instead of the noise of thought.
If you say 100 times that you are busy, it will of course not calm down.
You can do that very simply by becoming aware of the gaps between words and sentences. That one gap between your words and sentences already leads to holes in your thought flow. You can also take a walk in the woods to meet the silence.
There is wisdom in the space between thoughts.
More information on this topic?
- Check out these mindfulness exercises.
- Learn about meditation.
- Find and create silence by taking care of yourself and arranging a relaxing day for yourself.
33 | Tip | Train yourself with meditation to get rest in your head & stop compulsive worrying …
Fortunately, you can train yourself to be more and more liberated from thinking, to worry less and thus to get peace of mind. Meditation helps with that.
For example, during a mini breathing meditation of 10 seconds , you simply cannot even think, because you are feeling your breath. A moment of presence arises.
In a quiet calm lake you can see clear reflections. Waves break up the reflection. Stopping the waves of the mind will reflect reality clearly. There are different types of meditation , so there is a lot of choice to test. Just a few examples:
- Pranayama: just follow your breathing and / or check it .
- Focus on the hara (belly) to get into your body.
- Zen : living simple and doing one thing at a time to realize true unity.
For example, you can use this guided meditation text . You can use such a meditation, for example, when involuntary thinking continues to arise and you continue to judge.
34 | Tip | … And try not to stop worrying too hard
This tip seems contradictory to the previous tip where you intentionally train to clear your mind. Still, it’s a very important one: don’t try to stop thinking. Don’t even try not to try! Just let it go.
Leave your mind alone. It will go quiet on its own.
Don’t put your worrying thoughts into perspective or downplay them: “Well, my situation is actually not that bad when I compare it to how bad they are in third world countries.” But allow all those bad worrying thoughts: “It is quite right how my situation is.”
This allows you to apply a kind of reverse psychology to yourself: the more you are allowed to worry, the less you get the compulsive feeling of worrying.
35 | Tip | In fact … start thinking (deeply)!
Think! Thinking carefully for half an hour can yield more than thinking multitasking all day long, continuing to fight and complaining about that brooding thinking.
“Something is bothering me. Thoughts keep coming up about a situation …” There are simply unanswered questions. Get it out there. Ask questions. Think. Write down clearly what is bothering you. After that you don’t think about it much anymore.
Take half an hour, hour, afternoon or all day. Find a nice or comfortable place or take a nature walk … and just think. Deep!
I am a thinker, not a worrier.
– Marco van Basten
Get out of worrying and get into thinking. After all, thinking is a powerful and useful tool. So think deeply about things. Take the time to do that and go really deep, because worry causes problems and thinking causes solutions.
Worrying causes problems and thinking causes solutions.
36 | Tip | Write down all your worrying thoughts on paper
Many people who worry are very ambitious. This is very positive! Ambitious people produce all kinds of thoughts with the intention of achieving something positive and / or solving problems.
The least you can do is get all your worrying thoughts out of your head – and put them on paper. Think of it as your external memory. Then it is at least a lot tidier and calmer in your head.
So take a half hour and write down your tasks, ideas, concerns and inspirations. Also create a plan with actions.
Planning your life, planning your week, planning your day, thinking about this and looking at your agenda is no worry. You just have to check your agenda, daily, otherwise you might forget appointments.
If you do this, you are no longer a complainer, but a mastermind. This way you are no longer overwhelmed, but focused.
Don’t be a ‘worrier’, but a ‘warrior’. Don’t be a complainer, but a mastermind.
37 | Tip | Relax your schedule and lifestyle… and be prepared for the resistance of your mind
This tip consists of two parts:
Part 1 of this tip: cut the mess out of your life
There is no doubt that a quiet living environment will also give you more peace of mind. Therefore, use as many decoupling tips as possible. This applies to stuff, apps and documents. No more thousands of thoughts and to do lists, just a few documents on your computer and just one place where all your ‘to do’ items come.
Do you worry about work after 5:00 PM and on your weekends? Then seriously consider finding a different kind of work. After 5:00 pm the work has to be let go, and if that has not been possible for a long time, that job should just go. In this article about depression , you will learn all about rigorously scrapping responsibilities such as your job.
Part 2 of this tip: calm your mind, because that mess was never the biggest problem
And then it comes … you have successfully relaxed, you live in a clean, tidy, minimalist home, you don’t have countless schedules and projects lying around and you may even have a completely empty ‘to do list’! And then it could just be that the clatter of your mind suddenly becomes louder and more restless than ever! These are withdrawal symptoms …
Right now your brain starts working overtime in panic that it is no longer needed. Now you really start to notice how your ego / mind / brain / mind creates all that chaos. It was never your job, it was never the mess in your house, it was never your schedule, and it was never your endless to-do list that caused the turmoil in your head. It is your mind addicted to thinking!
Many people who start to meditate and relax, only then feel how fiercely their mind is worrying.
38 | Tip | Make fun of the tone of your worrying thoughts
In this article you will learn a powerful technique to switch off your worrying thoughts thanks to so-called ‘submodalities’. You distort the voice of the thoughts, reframing them as something very ‘strange’. This takes away the credibility of the negative thoughts. Try it out!
39 | Tip | Determine what really matters to you and focus on it
Your thoughts start to worry about unimportant things when there is nothing important in your life. So ask yourself: What do you find important in your life? Do you care about those little things that you worry about or do you think it is important that you enjoy life and the big purpose of your life? This is the central question of the book: “The noble art of not giving af * ck.”
As an absolute must, focus on the answer to the above question. Agree with yourself that you will indeed conduct your lifestyle the way you want it most. Put that on number 1. Every day! Exercising, doing fun things, carrying out your ideal day, making a contribution … This means there is no time and chance to worry.
Your worrying thoughts aren’t really that important. They want to be important. And they can often start with “yes but …”.
40 | Tip | Do simple exercises
Some worrying exercises are so simple it’s hard to believe. Yet it is really true: the less you do the better. Two fine sources are available for this:
The book ‘ Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frenetic World ‘ is perhaps one of the best known Mindfulness books. Read it and notice what it does to your worry and compulsive thoughts.
On your luck!
There is no I, there is existence. People feel an attraction to existence. We think too much of ourselves and others, our thoughts hinder us from being. Only when you realize that there is no I will you be redeemed and feel the truth. Released from the will of others, happy, zen, however you want to name it, you can feel it alone. Everything created and conceived by man creates an imbalance and arises from someone’s will imposed by faith, an illusion, by force, forced. Realize that there is no truth, this is just an interpretation of what is.
Jacques clearly expresses the ineffable!
Have a question regarding the metaphor in this article about bumper cars. I don’t quite understand how to look at my thoughts yet. For me, thoughts are usually always stories, say daydreams, they come automatically. when i am in thoughts / daydreaming how do i look at it? This looking at that like the bumper cars is only possible if you are aware and awake so you are not in your mind? Because the moment I am in thoughts / daydreams I am in the bumper car (in thoughts) In other words if you look / observe those thoughts, it is already gone. Is this correct?
Good observation. Indeed, there is a time frame when you seem to be completely in a thought (!), Which prevents you from noticing it.
But actually you are never completely absorbed in a thought, although it may seem that way. We are all conscious, awakened beings.
In fact, we don’t have to do that much (actually nothing) for it. We are actually already awakened by default.
“When I am in thoughts / daydreams how do I look at them?”
Because we are all already awake by default, we don’t have to do anything for it. There will automatically be moments when you notice them and get out.
“This looking at that like the bumper cars is only possible if you are aware and awake so you are not in your mind?”
You have always been aware and awake. We don’t have to strive for enlightenment or a moment when we are aware or awake. We already are. It is quite clear. So we can always look at the bumper cars.
“If you look / observe those thoughts, he is already gone. Is this correct?” The thought is still there, but you see through the illusion that you seem to be absorbed in it.
Also the metaphors of this article – and the rest of this article – will not take you to enlightenment / awakening.
You’re already there. Here. Now. Awake. Awake. The space in which everything happens, including thoughts.
By when I look at it / observe I mean when I am attentively in the now again. I am no longer in my thoughts, actually very logically that the thoughts are gone. So don’t look at thoughts do they mean look at the thoughts you just had?
Aha, that’s what you mean 🙂
Yes, it’s great that you notice this. That is how the bumper car metaphor could certainly be seen.