24 Mar 2018 20:20 IST

Being in the present: thought management

A man staring at a brain full of confused thoughts

Being aware of your thoughts can help you make sense of them and focus better

If you had read the previous two articles and had tried meditation even once, you will be aware of the myriad of thoughts that keep flooding our mind every second. These thoughts are among the biggest distractions that also prevent a person from being in the present. This is simply because our thoughts are usually reliving something that has happened or pertain to something that is in the future.

If you have tried meditation then the idea of thought management is very simple and needs no further explanation. You would also be able to manage and control your thoughts because of the meditation you do.

However, for those who do not practice meditation, or tried but could not manage to meditate, a simple exercise to help manage your thoughts is as follows:

It is said that our mind like a monkey and keeps jumping around, from one thought to another. This understanding is the core to thought management and being in the present. Whenever you are thinking about something, consciously start tracing the origin of that thought. For example, you might be thinking about a car but if you were to start tracing the thought to its starting point, it could very well be something totally different, like an end-term exam. You might have started to plan and think about preparing for an exam which might have led to thoughts of placement and a related thought might have come up about the best package that the earlier batch received. From there, the mind would wander to the scenario of you getting a similar placement and hence being in the market to buy a car.

Once you start to trace your thoughts to their original starting point, you will start becoming aware of your thinking process. You will start to understand the pattern of your thinking and be able to identify the point when the thoughts move onto to related thoughts, or even unrelated ones.

Once you are aware of this, the next step would be to start putting a stop to these jumps in thinking. This will slowly habituate you to stop your mind from running off into a stream of related or unrelated thoughts. Needless to say, this means that your mind will start to focus on the present.

This habit of being in the present will enable you to concentrate better and also help your mind process the current context better. By not being distracted by the other thoughts, you can focus better and your responses would be more effective.

There are many benefits of being in the present, and that is something worth working towards.

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