Observing Thoughts and Allowing Them to Pass Exercise
The Observing Thoughts and Allowing Them to Pass exercise is a mindfulness practice that is helpful for reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus and concentration, and enhancing self-compassion. It involves non-judgmentally observing and letting go of thoughts as they arise. By paying attention to thoughts without getting caught up in them, we can become more aware of our mental processes and the content of our thoughts, and practicing awareness of the mind as a process helps us break free from being constantly absorbed in the contents of them. Furthermore, by observing our thoughts with kindness and patience, we can cultivate a more compassionate and understanding attitude towards ourselves.
During the Observing Thoughts and Allowing Them to Pass exercise, you will visualise yourself resting in a peaceful garden or a serene meadow. Whenever thoughts enter your mind, imagine a gentle breeze carrying your thoughts away. Or you can picture yourself sitting on a park bench, observing your thoughts as if they were passing clouds in the sky. Doing this allows you to gain perspective on your thoughts and feelings, reducing their power and promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
1. Find a quiet and comfortable space: choose a location where you can relax without distractions.
2. Sit or lie down in a relaxed position: find a comfortable posture that allows you to be at ease.
3. Close your eyes or soften your gaze: either close your eyes or keep them open with a gentle, unfocused gaze.
4. Begin by taking slow, deep breaths: inhale deeply, allowing your abdomen to expand, and exhale slowly, releasing any tension.
5. Visualise yourself in a peaceful setting: imagine being in a serene garden, a tranquil meadow, or any other calming environment.
6. Observe your thoughts as they arise: instead of getting caught up in your thoughts, imagine placing them on a leaf or watching them pass like clouds in the sky.
7. Allow your thoughts to come and go: practice non-attachment by letting your thoughts float away without judgment or analysis.
8. Maintain a sense of perspective: by stepping back and viewing your thoughts from a distance, you can gain a broader understanding of your emotions and reduce their power.
Your objective during this exercise is simply to focus on the peaceful setting. When distractions enter your mind, such as thoughts or feelings, take a moment to notice them without judgment, and then let them go. There is nothing else you need to do during the exercise. You could set a timer for 10-15 minutes for this practice.