Popping out of your thoughts is such an important skill to learn because our brains never really stop thinking.
Even when we are intently focused on something, the mind continues to run non-stop in the background.
Sometimes, the chatter and thoughts in our heads feel like a calm conversation. Other times, it can feel like a heavy-metal screamo concert.
Everybody experiences this; from the seasoned meditation guru to the high-powered business executive.
Most of us let these thoughts take over from time-to-time. It’s not always a bad thing; we’ve probably all had some pretty sweet daydreams and maybe even a groundbreaking idea or two.
But letting our thoughts take control all the time drastically reduces our focus, concentration, and ultimately, our happiness.
The good news is that you can easily train yourself to pop out of your thoughts and into the present moment.
Get Off the Bus
One of the most important insights we can have as humans is that we are larger than our thoughts.
Jeff Warren, meditation teacher, and bestselling author says that our thoughts are like Greyhound buses, speeding through the desert. Learning to pop out of our thoughts is like getting off the bus, sitting in a comfortable camping chair, cracking open a beer, and watching the buses zoom by.
When you do this, you gain a bright new perspective. You notice what’s around you in great detail; sights, sounds, smells. And that chatter in the mind? It drops down to a more pleasant level.
You’re still aware of the busses zooming to and fro, but you’re not on them, just observing them.
Learning to pop out of our thoughts and into the present moment is an incredibly powerful tool.
It makes you a better listener which in turn makes you a better partner, friend, co-worker, and parent.
Every time we notice we are “on the bus” and then get off is like doing a mental pushup.
It strengthens our muscles of concentration and clarity. And it shows the brain a clear-cut pattern moving forward. Sort of like saying “hey brain, I don’t want to be there right now, I want to be here.”
When we practice popping out of our thoughts, the pattern gets stronger and we spend more and more time in the present. And that is where we want to be.
There are some tips and tricks you can use to train yourself to pop out of your thoughts, and I cover them in this free, guided exercise.