Its basic idea is to see how quiet the mind can get when you stop feeding it entertainment, conversation, and daydreams.
It provides the environment for noticing what’s happening inside you and around you, and come back to that when you get distracted.
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The mind is an extremely powerful connect-the-dots machine, always making rapid associations between what it notices, triggering any one of millions of memories or projections about the future.
Essentially, the mind is making stories: sequences of events, past or future, where you stand to gain or lose something.
A certain desperation grows around the needs you face in these stories, which creates real stress, usually over nothing. Is it actually useful, or merely addictive, to continually imagine a confrontation with a driver that cut you off on the way to work this morning?
These stories are just a natural by-product of the mind's ability to make connections between similar thoughts, but they generate real stress.
Every time you experience stress, it’s a response to a narrative in the mind, a story about something you feel you need to have happen or prevent from happening.
When you notice stress rising at some random moment, find the story. Just leave the narrative unfinished and go back to what you were doing before the storytelling started.
Worry is an attempt to mentally problem-solve something that either isn’t really a problem or isn’t a problem that’s solvable.
And while problem solving is typically helpful in our lives, worry is just a waste of time and energy if we know it can’t actually produce any results.