A busy head

Why do we take our thoughts so seriously? Journalist Otje van der Lelij discovers you can also let thoughts just be thoughts. You can read about it in our Mindfulness Workbook. Below is an excerpt. 

Read more: A colorful past

Our minds are seldom still. Fantasies, inner voices and free associations are flying fast and heavy, enough to drive a person mad. We review situations from the past and brood on events to come. Often, we are sunk so deeply in thought that we forget to be present in the now. According to psychologist and mindfulness expert Rob Brandsma, it’s still a bit of a mystery why we take our thoughts so seriously. “Possibly because these are internal experiences we have that are close to our consciousness. Unlike our big toe, which is slightly farther away from our ego. We are much more inclined to identify with our thoughts, particularly if they are about ourselves.” Something that can lead to trouble, Brandsma says, especially in moments when we aren’t doing very well. “You’re not feeling great and automatically this stream of thoughts starts up. It happens all on its own, you don’t choose to do it.”

The article ‘A Busy Head’ can be found in the Flow Mindfulness workbook.

Text Otje van Der Lelij Photography Getty Images, Stocksy/Simone Anne

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