Discover the handy phrase to help you step out of thought
The reason why we find ourselves consumed by worries and stress is because we live in thought most of the time.
We want to deal with something that will happen in the future, or we want to be somewhere else, doing something else; or we regret a past which we cannot change.
Fortunately, there are many ways to step out of thought and come back to the present moment, to live in the here and now - which, after all, is the only moment you ever experience.
My preferred way of experiencing life is to live aware in the present moment, and to use my thoughts on purpose to create positive feelings.
There are no problems in the present moment: you are just dealing with whatever is going on with your full attention.
I found a powerful phrase to bring me back to the present moment in Eckhart Tolle's book 'The power of now':
"Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and say to yourself: "I wonder what my next thought is going to be." Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole? Try it now."
The phrase 'I wonder what my next thought is going to be' automatically brings you an awareness of your own thought process. You become alert and you step out of compulsive thinking right in that very moment.
You can then feel a certain 'spaciousness', a sort of no-thought land, which usually lasts for a few brief moments until your amusement of the discovery of such a stage brings you back into thinking.
Tolle's phrase is extremely useful to break a chain of thought - especially when you found yourself going over and over the same topic in a way that makes you feel bad, or when you feel 'trapped' by the non-stop flow of your thoughts.
Say to yourself Tolle's phrase at different times throughout the day. This will help you, over time, to increase your overall awareness of your thought processes and to distinguish them from 'you'.
"Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present."