Minding Your Mind
Sometimes we feel the urge to take our minds off of our challenges. Neuroscientists have discovered distracted minds can make us feel unhappy, yet knowingly allowing the mind to wander is instrumental in generating creativity. Learning to recognize which state of mind you are in can be a useful practice.
Each time you recognize you are thinking about something you would rather not be thinking about in the moment, make it a practice to observe what happens to your attention, without judging yourself for whatever it may be. Whatever you do with your attention, notice the degree to which it is held there. Full absorption of your attention anchors your mind in the body and generates a comforting flow state that truly “takes your mind off” of the challenge you want a break from thinking about.
If instead your mind insists on wandering, you are distracted, so stop what you are doing, get in a comfortable position and change the practice to one of attentively watching your mind as it wanders. The mind is typically quite mobile. It may be helpful to hold your attention to the observation by locating its direction of wandering as future, past, present. Enjoy!