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Mind

Focus

Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: atsukosmith)

Meditation Sticker

Meditation Sticker (Photo credit: Sanne Schijn)

Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, ...
Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unwanted and irrelevant thoughts sabotage your focus and get in the way of getting things done.   Practicing meditation helps improve your ability to attend and concentrate.  Merely focusing on your breathing for five minutes without attempting to change it in any way is a simple way to start your meditation process.  Remember  to focus on being calm and not letting anything interfere with your concentration.

There is a carryover from meditating to everyday life.  Paperwork and chores can benefit from the single mindedness that you develop when meditating.  As I write this, I have put aside all other projects that vie for my attention and am concentrating on one thing, writing this blog.

As I have suggested before, making a list of the things that need your attention and keeping it where you can see it and refer to it unclutters your mind.  It is reassuring to know that you won’t forget to do something important and you won’t have to constantly remind yourself of these things so that they don’t get away from you.

Mind clutter includes those unwanted thoughts, often negative ones, that create constant chatter in your head.

The better you get at doing this, the more you will get done and in less time than in the past.  This is a surprising added benefit of meditating.

 

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Unwanted Thoughts

Where do all those unwanted thoughts come from?  Endless mind chatter, more frequently negative than positive, is a common complaint among people.  Whispers of fear and doubt drift through our heads.  “Should’s” and “can’t’s.” mess up our minds.  Just think how much we could get done if we could just focus on what we are doing instead of these irritating thoughts in our head.  These are road blocks of thought that often prevent us from doing what we want or would like to do and may even prevent us from fulfilling our purpose in life.

Where do these ideas come from?   Considering that we usually don’t like these thoughts and we feel bad when we think them, why do we continue to think them?   Why do we believe them?  There is a time in life when we are very vulnerable to establishing these kind of thoughts in our mind.  There is a time in our life when we don’t know better than to believe these ideas are true.  The younger we are the more vulnerable we are to adopting others’ ideas even if not true as part of our self-concept.  We learn them.

Why is it so difficult to change these ideas especially when we learn later in life that they are not true.  It happens because after awhile, when we learn something like this, we often accept this as the way things are in life as we may not have any experiences to the contrary.   Such ideas become automatic such as learning to ride a bicycle or learning our multiplication tables; but this not beneficial when we have had the experience of being bullied by someone who does not know us and sees us as a convenient victim.

There is a part of the mind where information is stored to which we usually do not have direct access and is, therefore, almost invulnerable to being changed. Another big problem is that we often accept this kind of information as factual and you know that facts are facts because they can’t be changed or at least that is what most people think.

This kind of information is usually said to be at an unconscious or subconscious level and is difficult to access and difficult to change. It even follows some different rules from that which is stored in the conscious mind. There is a method to this madness. One thing is that it enables us to do things without thinking like ride a bicycle. Another is that when we can access it, we can usually find information that we thought we had forgotten. Hypnosis is often used to do this.

Unconscious learning can be the source of thoughts and ideas that effect our behavior and self image in very often damaging ways. It can help us because this is often how we develop rules that make it easier for us to make decisions as long as the rules make sense.

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