‘Do I need to be thinking about this right now?’

In my mindfulness/meditation teaching, I give lots of techniques to help calm the mind and be more present and mindful.  Of all the techniques I’ve shown that you can use at anytime during your day, this is clearly the one that people like the most.

monkey mind

Learn to recognize your Monkey Mind

When you find your mind racing, or your ‘monkey mind’ is jumping around, or you are worrying and just can’t stop (especially as you are going to bed), do this:

  • Stop yourself and ask yourself this question…
  • “Do I need to be thinking about this right now?”

Typically, if we are truthful to ourselves, the answer is ‘No!’.  Usually our mind is busy with random or worrisome thoughts that are of no value.  There certainly are times when ‘functional thinking’ is useful – like when we are making plans, or rehearsing a presentation we have to make the next day, but our monkey minds actually can torment us and we often don’t even realize it.

So simply using this technique throughout your day, even if you find yourself saying it 50 times a day, is practicing mindfulness.

Give it a try.  It works wonders for me and lots of people I’ve shared this with.


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2 thoughts on “‘Do I need to be thinking about this right now?’

  1. wendy, maybe a better question is when will I think about this, I tend to not want to deal with certain issues so they patiently remind me constantly, thanks al

    • Interesting perspective. For things that you might be procrastinating on or avoiding, you’re right. That is a good question. Maybe making an intention to deal with it, no matter how uncomfortable, is a good idea. But then once you have completed the thought, then let it go, and you don’t have to ruminate on it anymore. If you find yourself ruminating about it afterwards, then the question ‘Do I need to be thinking about this right now?’ is a good one.
      Thanks for the perspective, Al,


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