The development of awareness — how to divert attention from thoughts
The young man, who decided that it was time for him to become wiser, came to a famous philosopher with a request to teach him some wisdom. “Well,” the philosopher answered him, “this is your first task: go back home and do not think about white monkeys.” Puzzled by what he thought was a simple task, the young man wandered home. And the next morning, broke into the house of the philosopher with a cry "These white monkeys have completely tortured me!"
Do not think of white monkeys!
This very famous story is told to those who want to learn how to manage their consciousness, without giving it away to random thoughts, sticky images and obsessive ideas.
For a long time “white monkeys” serve as a useful metaphor describing how accidentally an “awakened” image can follow a person relentlessly. But the main thing here is a reminder of the regularity, which will later be studied by neuropsychologists as the “dominant of thinking”:
The more you drive away an annoying thought from yourself, the more annoying it becomes. After all, time after time, resisting you, it seems to be “training its muscles”, competing with you for the right to own your mind.
In other words, trying to “not think about white monkeys” you only increase the presence of “monkeys” in your brain. As a result - you get tired of resisting, and the "monkeys" solemnly celebrate their victory, completely seizing your attention.
How to protect your brain from such an aggressive invasion? After all, this is exactly how we develop what we called “white monkeys”, the most popular ones are:
- often senseless fears (“suddenly the boss will not like my report”),
- obsessive ideas distracting us from actual goals and objectives (“maybe I need to listen to what my wife is talking about with this insolent type”),
- attached annoying images (“I just can’t get rid of this melody, which sounds and sounds in my head all day”).
This whole “collection” of useless and distracting thoughts and images is endlessly “dragging around” you, depriving you of the opportunity to fully and completely focus on what is really important to you at the moment. The development of self-awareness and coping skills, therefore, appears as a difficult task. However, fortunately, quite solvable.
What is free consciousness?
Let us now try to carry out the opposite action – let us "draw" a picture of how we want to see our consciousness. So
3 main signs of free consciousness
1. Your mind is more like a comfortably organized workplace than a creative mess. Do you remember how Sherlock Holmes taught Watson that “the human brain is like an attic: a fool will get all sorts of junk there, and the smart one will select only what is really useful for him”?
You are confident and easy to navigate:
- in your knowledge (they are built into a certain system),
- in your experience (the necessary and the unnecessary are carefully sorted),
- in your priorities and values (you have your own personal rating of values, and you can explain why some and not others are priorities for you at the moment).
2. You are able to conduct an audit of your accumulated knowledge and images and to refuse what
- has become unnecessary
- out of date
- lost relevance,
- was replaced by new knowledge.
At the same time, you are not in a hurry to throw everything away, but follow your principles of selection of information. You may even have criteria for such a selection.
3. You have converted the unconscious from your enemy to ally. You skillfully use the infinite possibilities of the unconscious. For example, before going to bed, you scroll through an unsolved task and ask your unconscious to solve it during sleep (if you remember D. Mendeleev with his periodic table, then you are absolutely right - this is exactly the case). You almost always get the right answer in the morning from the unconscious that is infinitely loyal to you.
And now it's time to answer the question of how to achieve this? How to develop awareness? And what can each of us do for ourselves?
How to succeed in this area
Use modern and proven practices of developing awareness for this. All tips on effectively managing your mind and protecting it from “white monkeys” can be grouped into three groups:
- mediation techniques
- personal mental practice
- special training, for example, performing relevant exercises in the Wikium program.
This is a very important practice, contributing to the development of the ability to arbitrarily focus your attention or distribute it among several objects. For a start, you can learn 2 simple, but very effective meditation techniques:
1. Deep healthy sleep. Start by making two lists: the first is what helps you fall asleep quickly, the second is what keeps you from falling asleep. And then everything is simple: organize your evening so that all your sleep assistants are involved, and the obstacles to falling asleep are eliminated or neutralized.
2. Meditation in nature. When you are in the forest or on the shore of a lake, be sure to devote 20 minutes to meditative exercises. Focus on the sounds, rustles, smells, trees and water. Let all these feelings fill you, even overflow. Become an empty vessel and help all these sensations to “fill the vessel.” Hold yourself in this state for 15-20 minutes. Do not be confused by the fact that it is a bit like what is called “clearing the body”, feed it with the help of a dropper with vitamin formulas and glucose. In fact, this is the clearing of your mind - a hygienic procedure for the brain. It is useful for you to get rid of pseudo-intellectual slag, isn't it?
Master your personal mental practice
Here are just two tips from psychologists studying the relationship between brain functions and cognitive processes:
1. Create your own system of triggers. Remember the situation when you have successfully solved some difficult task for yourself. What preceded your high performance? What your actions helped you focus on, and then work, without being distracted from anything? These are your personal mechanisms that trigger effective thinking and maximum concentration on the task, or, in other words, personal triggers of complete immersion into the awareness of the problem field.
Having conducted several of these successful experiences, create your own system of triggers:
- 2-3 triggers to run,
- 2-3 triggers maintain the focus of attention,
- 2-3 triggers to replenish the resources of the tired mind.
2. Learn to create a stream within yourself. Have you ever had the feeling that some surprisingly life-giving stream caught you? And it is not you who are controlling your thoughts now, but they are moving by themselves, and they are surprisingly moving in the right direction? And all you have to do is to plunge into this stream and enjoy living how unexpectedly and elegantly your task or problem is solved, while an hour ago it seemed difficult and even insoluble.
If it happened, it means that you know what the Hungarian scientist M. Chikzentmihayli meant, for the first time experimentally investigating this state. In his opinion, for “entering the stream”, only one condition is necessary - the correspondence of the complexity of the task and the competencies of its solver. Select tasks of maximum complexity, but not exceeding the limits of your competence. And the flow will be for you attainable state!
Train with Wikium
The useful practice of consciousness can be learned through special brain development exercises offered by specialized sites.
"Wikium" is built on the principles of the consistent complexity of intellectual training with regard to your individual pace of development. The variety of exercises offered allows you to choose among them, first of all, those that will help you get rid of your own weak characteristics that worsen