Unwanted Thoughts

by Vasu

My question is how to control unwanted thoughts. For example, when I am doing something at work, unrelevant thoughts are invading into my mind. How to overcome these? Please send answer.

Doug's Reply. Distracting thoughts are a problem for almost everyone. This is especially true whenever we are working at a task that is not particularly engaging or fun.

I can certainly recall times during my working career when I found myself thinking about my family or a fun activity that I would rather be doing, or even about mundane subjects like the weather.

These distracting thoughts obviously interfere with concentration, making you less productive.

The first step to defeating such thoughts is to train yourself to immediately notice whenever a new set of distracting thoughts begins to enter your mind. This may or may not be easy.

If you often have distracting and unwanted thoughts, you may have unintentionally formed a deep habit for such thoughts. They may occur without you even realizing it, because having such thoughts has become part of a regular pattern of behavior.

In any case, once you recognize that unwanted thoughts have invaded your mind, the goal is to make them go away. As soon as you notice the appearance of unwanted thoughts, stop what you are doing and take a break.

Get up from your desk and walk around for a few minutes. This will help to halt the unwanted train of thought that has embedded in your mind.

Simply taking a break can sometimes solve the problem.

If the unwanted thoughts continue, however, take it a step further by spending a few moments in quiet meditation through deep breathing.

To do this, find a quiet spot where you can remain uninterrupted for at least a few minutes. Close your eyes, then take three deep breathes. During each breath, inhale through your nose, first filling your diaphram and then your lungs. Hold the breath for a slow count of five or as long as is comfortable. Then slowly exhale through your mouth, pushing out all the air until you feel somewhat limp and relaxed. Open your eyes, and return to work. You should feel somewhat better, and your mind more clear.

During this short breathing exercise, focus on allowing your mind to become clear and uncluttered. If the unwanted thoughts try to interfere, notice them, but then allow those thoughts to simply float away.

Beyond what I have described above, you might want to spend more time meditating while at home. Between 10 and 30 minutes a day should give good results. Regular meditation trains your brain not only to relax and let go of troublesome thoughts, but also to strengthen the ability of your brain to concentrate more fully on whatever tasks are at hand.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

Best regards,

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