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Cats are great teachers for how to observe your thoughts.

How To Observe Your Thoughts And Easily Calm Your Mind

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One of the best ways to achieve calm and balance in your life is learning how to observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind. The first thing many say is, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” “My thoughts are like a revving chainsaw cutting into a Volkswagen Minibus full of watermelons. It’s ok if you feel that way. It’s very natural and even common. 

The first thing most of us declare is, “You don’t understand.” “My thoughts are just too busy!” What you may not know is that we are all built like that. We promise your brain isn’t broken. Most of our thoughts run fast, loud, messy, and…where were you going with those watermelons again?

watermelons

Remember that you aren’t your thoughts. You are a living being/soul that HAS thoughts. Calm shows itself when you can focus those thoughts. The first thing most try is to empty their head of everything. They are sure if they can just clear out the clutter, maybe everything will be better. Well… it will. However, “emptying” your thoughts from a place of chaos is not only impossible it’s not how your brain works.

Your brain is brilliant and can hold more thoughts and information than the biggest and best computer Apple or Bill Gates can make. It has an awareness of the slightest breeze across your skin. It can also remember what your Aunt Ida’s front yard smelled like when you were three years old. It wasn’t made for empty. The answer is not to empty your brain of thoughts but to FOCUS your thoughts.

Illustration of a busy mind and starting to learn how to observe your thoughts

How To Observe Your Thoughts-Start Somewhere Else.

When that doesn’t work, most people will jump to, “Just think about happy stuff, and everything will be ok.” There is nothing wrong with positive thinking. We encourage reaching for better thoughts that feel hopeful and promising. But there’s more to it. 7 Clear and Easy Steps When You Feel Stuck In Life

Getting rid of the clutter in your brain and cultivating an actual positive perspective is valuable and healthy.  You just can’t start there. What is that saying, “You can’t get there from here…you have to start somewhere else”?

You can’t get there directly from chaos. So the more you try to think happy thoughts when you really feel crappy, the more chaotic your thoughts will get. 

Woman in stack of vegetables with cooking pot on her head making a face

The ick feeling will roll around in the sawdust of your thoughts and slowly turn into anxiety or a sense of hopelessness. But, again, the point isn’t to empty your thoughts or wrangle your mind. The point is to FOCUS your thoughts. So, if you can’t get there from here, where do you start? Start by OBSERVING your thoughts.

The idea might sound challenging, but we promise it is so much easier than it sounds. When you can observe your thoughts, you can focus your thoughts. When you can focus your thoughts, you can manage YOU.

So how do you observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind?

Giraffe bending down looking upside down

What does observing your thoughts even look like anyway? It’s much easier than trying to clear your thoughts or just think about happy things.  It starts with listening to and observing that voice in your head. You know, that voice we all have. The voice that you think is you, but a whole lot of the time it is someone else. Someone who has influenced you over the years and yes…still lives in your head. 

Your Thoughts Aren’t You.

Your thoughts aren’t you, but when the chatter in your head has taken over, it sure feels like it is. We usually ignore the voices and let it turn into a chaotic mish-mash with no clear message other than, “This is a mess,” and “You’re doing it wrong.” 7 Clear and Easy Steps When You Feel Stuck In Life

Woman sitting on cliff in meditating at sunset a good tool for how to observe your thoughts

There are so many mindful practices. There are as many ways to meditate as there are reasons to meditate. But if you will learn how to observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind first, it will be much easier. You can begin those practices without feeling like you are holding on to the wrong end of that chainsaw.

Think about what observing means. You watch, listen, pay attention. Pause, take a breath, and hear what the voices say to you. What are your thoughts? What scary stories are you telling yourself?

Write it down. Take out a piece of paper and put each thought in a circle like a bundle of balloons. Journal it. There is nothing wrong with a journal entry that starts with, “I don’t know what is wrong with me, but….”

Illustration of circle exercise when learning how to observe your thoughts
There's nothing wrong with starting a journal entry with, "I don't know what is wrong with me, but..."

Maybe put it in a list form with short bullet descriptions. What are the voices in your head jabbering about this morning? Listen…write it down. You have something you can work with now. 

We all have more than one voice in our heads. The trick is recognizing you from programming you received from everyone else. Then, once you get some stuff written down, say to yourself, “I can hear what I’m thinking, but WHO’s TALKING?”

Small boy looking into mirror asking hey me is that you?

“Hey Me…Is That You?” Begin With Some Questions:

Is that what I think or what they taught me to think?

Is that my opinion or someone else’s opinion?

If it’s someone else, who’s, is it? 

Is that really what I feel about this?

Do I believe that, or do I just think I should believe that?

Do I even care about that stuff anymore? 

 

Questions Can Help You Find…You.

Diagram of woman showing how to observe your thoughts

Whittle out your Mom’s opinions, your Ex’s moods and rants, and your 5th-grade teacher who knew nothing about how to talk to children. What if what they told you isn’t true? You can safely assume it wasn’t. There may be a few other voices, even other versions of you. 

For example, maybe your 7-year-old self is talking instead of your grown-ass adult self. She needs a hug and a nap. Maybe your defiant 14-year-old is saying, “I don’t have to, and you can’t make me!” 

But is that really who you are in this situation and on this day? So listen, take an action if needed (maybe you really do need a nap and a cookie.) Then sort them out of the conversation too. Now we are down to you…the real you. That’s who you are observing.

Woman sitting on pier looking out into lake demonstrating a good time for practicing how to observe your thoughts

When you’ve filtered out everyone else’s two cents, you are down to pure, organic, YOU. Once there, you will find three distinct voices that are genuinely you. You are a beautiful, multi-faceted being. So let’s talk to the three facets that live in everyone’s head

Once you identify those versions, you will know how to observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind. But, of course, the consistent question will still be, “WHO’s TALKING?”

Now you are down to the real you and the 3 voices we all hold inside us. We call them the 3 Circles. They look like this:

How To Observe Your Thoughts-The Three Circles:

Diagram of the three circles explaining how to observe your thoughts

MIND 

MIND is your knowledge and your intellect. It’s your Google. It’s your version of your truth, what the world looks like, and how it works. Mind holds facts, figures, and your understanding of your history…all history.

It is endless in its ability to take in information and to know more about everything. However, it doesn’t deal with feelings, or anything not based on what you can see and understand. 

EGO 

EGO isn’t about being “egotistical,” and EGO isn’t the bad guy. It’s the part of you that keeps you from walking in front of buses. It’s the reason you can’t hold your breath and kill yourself. Ego is your individualism and your protector. 

It’s what differentiates you from everyone else. It’s what doesn’t want you to do anything unsafe, unsure, or risky. It also doesn’t trust anyone and second-guesses everybody, including you.

Man holding caution sign

EGO is competitive and knows that someone has to be wrong and someone has to lose. So it wants to be sure it isn’t you. For that reason, it can be defensive, jealous, and has to have the last word.

EGO also has another problem. It only has 3 tools to work with to keep you from doing something unsafe, unsure or risky. It only has 3 tools to make sure you are right, everyone else is wrong, and you have the last word. They are DOUBT, FEAR, and JUDGEMENT…about yourself and everyone else.

INNER BEING

INNER BEING has a lot of different names. It’s that voice of calm reason and purpose in our heads. It’s the voice of our wise self. Some call it Spirit, Intuition, Angels, Guides, Higher Consciousness, or Higher Awareness. Some just call it “WISE ME.” 

Human body with bright white light emanating from heart space
Inner Being never has to make anyone feel small for you to feel tall.

INNER BEING will never talk down to you or shame you. It will also never talk bad about you or anyone else. It wants the highest good and light for everyone involved. Someone losing is not a solution to your Inner Being. It is always looking for kindness, fairness, and grace for everyone, including you.

INNER BEING knows there is more than one side to every story. It has compassion for others’ differences and insights. It has natural and gracious confidence.

It never has to make anyone feel small for you to feel tall. It never has to make someone else feel poor for you to feel rich. INNER BEING does not need anyone to feel or have less for you to feel like you are more.

Human form in meditative yoga position heart light center
Your INNER BEING is your bright and brilliant self, but it is also very gracious.

INNER BEING is also where your intuition lives. You know, that gut feeling.  It’s that little nudge that says, “turn right here” or “just stop for a minute…let him talk.”

INNER BEING is very strong but also very gentle. It is empowered but kind. Your INNER BEING is your bright and brilliant self, but it is also very gracious.  

How To Observe Your Thoughts-WHO’S TALKING?

Knowing how to observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind is priceless. First, if you observe your thoughts, it helps you know WHO’S TALKING. Then, when you understand WHO’S TALKING, it helps you know what to do with that information and easily calm your mind.  

So, just remember the one simple question, “WHO’S TALKING?” When there is too much in your head, and it’s getting all tangled up, ask yourself, “WHO’S TALKING?” 

Boulders ocean water sunset with words Who's Talking an important question when learning how to observe your thoughts

How do you know which voice is which? Once you observe your thoughts and how each piece speaks to you, you will find it easy to tell them apart.

MIND is all about practicality, facts, figures, history, and it is what it is, and that’s all it is.

EGO is about looking after you and your interest. If it can’t get you to listen, it will use doubt, fear, and judgment to sway you back to it being all about you. It will turn it all back on you if you don’t listen.

That’s why you suddenly start having second thoughts, self-doubt, and fear when you were just fine yesterday. Remember, EGO isn’t the bad guy. It thinks it’s helping by protecting you. 

INNER BEING is wise and reasonable, seeing all sides of the situation and only interested in the highest good solutions for everyone. It believes in win-win, or it doesn’t want to play. It also just has a gut feeling about things.

Sticky notes with message

An Example Of How To Observe Your Thoughts.

When you know how to observe your thoughts and learn “Who’s Talking,” it will be easier to calm your mind. Here’s how it works. Let’s say your boss leaves a message that he wants to see you first thing in the morning. That’s it. That’s all you know till 9:00 AM tomorrow.  Here is how the 3 voices might speak:

MIND: “Wonder What He Wants?”

It will then run through your database of facts, possible things he could want to talk about, and your history with him in similar situations. Then, based on that data, it will also start weighing out the odds of this being a good for you situation or a bad for you situation. 

Man sitting against the wall practicing how to observe thoughts

If you know him to be a complicated person or your work situation to be problematic, you will begin to think about what problem you will need to solve tomorrow. Again, the mind loves a good puzzle to solve.

If you know him to be a gracious person, you have a good rapport, and you enjoy your work, you will begin to think in that direction. Then, of course, you will be wondering, maybe even excited about what he wants to talk about based on the same data. The mind loves a good puzzle to solve. 

EGO: “Wonder What He Wants?”

EGO goes into warrior-protection mode regardless of who your boss is, what your relationship is or what your occupation is. It starts pulling out its only three arrows in the quiver, “Doubt, Fear, and Judgment.

sign with words doubt fear judgment

It will make you feel fearful with scary stories. It will make you doubt yourself, your boss, your relationship, and your job security. Then EGO will begin judging your boss, this situation, and your work performance. 

Remember, judgment is never nice and fluffy regardless of who it is directed towards. You will stay awake all night dreading the meeting.  You might be anxious for daylight just wanting it to hurry up and be done already. 

INNER BEING: “I Wonder What He Wants?” 

INNER BEING will be aware of the data the MIND holds. It will also be aware that something could be a problem, just as EGO tells it. But it knows it can’t understand what he wants till it is told what he wants. 

woman sitting in chair on sandy beach looking towards ocean water and blue sky

INNER BEING knows if all is well, this could be exciting. If all is not, there could be a problem. But it also knows it can’t do anything about the problem if it doesn’t know what the problem is yet. It knows scary stories about any of it, is a waste of time.

INNER BEING also knows this could be nothing at all. Regardless, it will calm itself with something neutral to think about or something unrelated to do. INNER BEING knows that there is no solution until tomorrow morning gets here so no need to freak out now.

illustration of three circles for how to observe your thoughts and easily calm your mind

Your Brain’s Version Of Hell.

There is one place in the 3 Circles that we haven’t talked about yet. That little bit there right in the middle. We all know that feeling. We’ve all done it. You know…3:15 in the morning when you are wide awake arguing every side of the issue all by yourself.

We call this HELL. This is when all 3 of your voices are talking at once…and talking loudly.

What’s the answer to this internal place of self-inflicted damnation? First, get a piece of paper and ask yourself, “WHO’S TALKING?” Then, sort out, write out what each circle is saying. 

This is why it’s essential to know how to observe your thoughts. It keeps you out of the dungeon of your fears or too many facts and too much data. It reminds you that your thoughts are not you.  

Woman laying in hammock on sandy ocean beach

Back To How Observe Your Thoughts.

When you observe your thoughts, you know who’s talking and know what they’re saying. In this situation, MIND is just wondering what he could want based on facts, data, and history. EGO is prepping you for the worst-case scenario, and INNER BEING assures you, ” It’s ok honey.. go to sleep.”

Inner Being reminds you that you can’t know what is needed until you talk to him. INNER BEING says that there is nothing to do right now, and rest is the best thing. 

We all play this scenario over and over again. You can easily calm your mind when you know how to observe your thoughts instead of BEING your thoughts.

You can easily see which one is practical, sensible, and…calming? Observing these three voices is like having a really smart friend to talk to about…anything. The cool thing is that smart friend is…YOU. 

Person dancing with open arms in the sunlight

So whatever is on your mind right now…anything…everything. Grab a piece of paper and draw your three circles. Try your best to stay out of that little “HELL” space in the center. WHO’S TALKING?

What is each voice in the circle saying? What is the best guidance to take? Which one serves you and is helpful? Go with that one. 7 Clear and Easy Steps When You Feel Stuck In Life

Extra Hint For How To Observe Your Thoughts and Easily Calm Your Mind.

Know that INNER BEING is ALWAYS the best choice. Because of this, MIND and EGO will typically go for a second round or a third if you are up for it. They start the sentence with, “Yeah, but what about…?”

If that is the case, go around each circle another time. EGO knows it is never a good choice and will try its darndest to keep you going around in that circle. Don’t let it. It’s wasted time, energy and feels discombobulating and just…icky. 

Two hands holding mystical crystal ball

Once you hear what INNER BEING has to say, you will know what is best for you. So how will you know you’ve landed on INNER BEING? It’s pretty easy. MIND and EGO have a vending machine full of different feelings associated with them.

INNER BEING only knows calmer, more peaceful, more hopeful. It tells you “It’s gonna be ok.” “I don’t know exactly how…but really it’s gonna be ok,” and it’s always right.

Pixi Pebbles…For How To Observe Your Thoughts…

Pixi-Pebbles are songs, quotes, videos, interviews, movie references, and books that we each personally pick for you.

We’ve used these little Pixi-Pebbles to move ourselves from a feeling we’re not enjoying very much…to a feeling that helps us discover our vision of intention, awareness, and direction.

They lead us to hope, possibilities, and a fire under our butt to live life by design instead of default.

In our blog How to Observe Your Thoughts and Easily Calm Your Mind message, these are the Pixi-Pebbles that came to mind.

Just a little inspiration to get you from here to there.

 

Dr. Joe Dispenza is a thought leader of our time. His words are encouraging and calming. This short video speaks volumes about observing your thoughts.

Click Here To Listen To Observe Your Thoughts Talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Meet Nikki:

Nikki has a way of making almost anything meaningful, interesting, and fun. She loves cats, believes you can learn a lot about yourself by shooting hoops in the park, and has a mad love affair with trees. As a Certified Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner, Intentional Living Mentor, Reiki Master, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, she understands how to help others create change and has a talent for making you enjoy doing it.

Meet Jennifer:

Jennifer is a woman who definitely lives life by design. As an Artist, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Studies Mentor, and Certified EFT Practitioner, she helps others find their unique, magical, and authentic selves. She loves art, music, nature, travel and believes everyone can dance. Jennifer is a compassionate teacher that enjoys inspiring others to find their own creativity, intuition, and passion for life.
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