Question: How do I block extraneous thoughts during meditation, visualization, or self-hypnosis?
Answer: Extraneous thoughts are normal when you meditate, visualize, or do self-hypnosis. It takes time and lots of practice to learn to not let them distract you during your spiritual and/or mental practice.
When other thoughts come into your mind during your practice, you don’t have to let them interfere. I know that sounds odd, but the more you resent or resist those thoughts, the more attention they’ll get. The more attention they get, the more often they’ll interfere. When they come into your mind (and come they will, it’s the nature of the mind), just acknowledge them then put your attention back on your practice.
When I’m working with a hypnotherapy client, I say something like “other thoughts won’t interfere,” because the more a person is concerned about those thoughts, or resists them, the more they take attention away from the goal of the session. Therefore, I subliminally give them permission to have other thoughts, but then suggest that they won’t have any power to distract.
The essence of this idea works with any individual’s spiritual and/or mental practice. Give the thoughts permission to be there, but don’t get emotionally involved with them. It’s part of spiritual/mental practice to watch them objectively. This objectivity then translates into the rest of your life.
Copyright 2003, 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
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