By Charles A. Francis
Background noise is another major source of mental agitation, and much of it is unnecessary. Often when we’re driving home after a busy day at work, we’ll turn on the radio in our car to help us unwind—all the while, still thinking about work or things we need to do at home, such as checking on the kids or making dinner.
When we get home, we might turn on the television while we settle in, not really paying attention to what’s on. We usually do this unconsciously to drown out the constant chatter in our mind. What we may not realize is that this background noise is agitating our mind even more, and when it becomes too much, we might pour ourselves a drink to help us relax.
Some people play the radio or television while they work, thinking this will help them concentrate. The reason this seems to help is because the extra noise prevents uncomfortable thoughts from rising to the surface, but the background noise only creates more agitation.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with watching TV or listening to the radio. The problem arises when we simply use them as background noise. Of course, we should also use some discretion concerning what we watch or listen to. Remember, whichever seeds in your mind you water, those will be the ones that grow.
I would suggest turning off the radio or television (or any other entertainment device) when you’re doing something else. This will help you concentrate on what you’re doing. Try it for a week. I think you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Copyright 2013 Charles A. Francis
All Rights Reserved
Charles A. Francis is the founder and director of the Mindfulness Meditation Institute. The Institute is dedicated to providing people with the tools they need to realize their full potential as human and spiritual beings through the practice of mindfulness meditation.