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You Have 60,000 Thoughts A Day — Here's How To Sort Through Them

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Sort Through Your Thoughts With Mindfulness

This mind of ours never stops.

Research shows that humans produce some 60,000 thoughts each day. That extensive number of thoughts is an irrefutable consequence of our society’s obsessive need to be busy and distracted.  

Many of our thoughts are anything but productive, and we do very little to regulate our mind’s non-stop activity. We allow our minds to be "future chasers" or "past dwellers." 

They take us everywhere except for where it matters most — the present moment. 

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Practicing mindfulness can take us there.

We all have the ability to become more present, awake and aware. The challenge is training our minds to stop — really stop.

The mind is prone to wander out of the present but we can train it to move away from the busyness in our heads through practicing mindfulness. 

Practicing mindfulness reins in our random thoughts and holds us in the present moment.

We all have the inherent ability to utilize mindfulness by going inward and focusing on our breath.

As we stay focused on the breath, we connect to the present and are able to look more deeply into what we’re actually feeling in the moment. 

Mindfulness reminds us that we’re here in this moment of "now."

It’s a state in which we’re observing our life unfold and becoming better able to experience it with clarity and acceptance. It allows us to intentionally bring our wandering mind into the present, liberates us from our emotional baggage, and gives us a more balanced perspective. 

With a mindfulness approach to every moment, we find ourselves eating more slowly and really tasting our food without rushing. We make time for a leisurely walk while paying close attention to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature around us.

Taking the time to simply observe, we see so much more than when we’re busy thinking about what we have to do next. We open up to what resides in our hearts. 

Here are 4 ways to practice mindfulness to become more present, awake & aware.

1. Stop the brain’s busyness. 

The mind likes to be busy. It thrives on activity and distraction. It’s incumbent upon you to teach it how to become quiet and still from time to time.

When you feel distracted or not fully present, you can put your focus and awareness on the breath to find stillness.

Using the breath as a type of meditation allows you to connect with the wholeness within.

You can experience that connection when you take a walk and observe nature or sit quietly, savoring a cup of tea.

When you're fully present and surrender to the moment with total awareness, you experience a sense of non-separation that makes you feel whole, complete and authentically yourself. 

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2. Navigate the moment with neutrality. 

Staying present in the moment can be challenging if you're facing something daunting, difficult or unclear. Emotions such as anger or insecurity can make your mind race.

But if you allow yourself to be open to challenging moments with acceptance, your resistance begins to dissolve. You can tell yourself, "I can handle this moment. There’s nothing for me to fear."

You can direct the moment — meaning, navigate it with neutrality — because you're no longer constricting or reacting, but allowing for it to just be.

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Opening up to whatever challenges present themselves, instead of resisting them, helps you ease into those moments, learn from them and find what rings true for yourself.

3. Engage in "life gazing".

When you take the time to simply look around you, you see so much more than when you're busy thinking about what you have to do next.

You can practice being aware of what’s around you when you're stopped at a red light and notice what’s out the car window. Or when you step outside and observe what’s taking place on the street.

Balancing your daily routine of work, chores and running errands with taking present-moment intervals to stop your mind from being on autopilot helps you feel more alive and vital. 

4. Strive to elevate awareness. 

You often function from an unaware routine of simply going through the paces of your day. But by practicing mindfulness, you're able to live your life in the moment that exists right now, fully aware and awake.

Finding time to stop the "doing" and connect to your spiritual center will bring you to the inner dwelling of our wholeness, which, in essence, is the authentic self.

Taking time to connect to and acknowledge your true self helps you appreciate this precious gift of life. 

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Ora Nadrich is the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named among the “top 18 books on what an authentic life looks like” by PositivePsychology and “one of the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time” by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and Mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches. Contact her on her website.

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This article was originally published at AddictedtoSuccess. Reprinted with permission from the author.