Stressful situations, ruminating about the past, worrying about what might happen in the future.
These are mini storms that come, stay in your mind for a while, then leave. How big of a storm it is, and how long the storm lasts depends entirely on how much you entertain it.
The more you feed energy to these things (by thinking about them), the stronger and longer the storm. The less you allow your mind to feed these, the sooner they will starve and die off.
The only issue? All this thinking is mostly subconscious. When you're stressing about something or ruminating on something that happened, you get pulled into an almost literal 'train' of thought and 15 minutes later, you snap out of it and realize you've been staring blankly at the ground the whole time. Where were you for those 15 minutes? It's like you were just dreaming in your mind and then you suddenly wake up and come back to this moment right here, right now, aka reality.
As you practise pulling your attention back from these thought storms and just keeping your attention here in this moment, you will start to "snap" out of them faster because your awareness of your thoughts will allow you to catch yourself doing it, faster. And as you continue to do that, you will see that these storms have no power without your attention feeding them. You will see that they are insignificant and you may even laugh at yourself for being silly and taking these thoughts so seriously.
Continue to be aware of your attention and how it automatically wants to be carried away by these train of thoughts. And return your mind back to silence each time.
Bhudda was asked "what did you gain from meditation?" He replied, "Nothing. But let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, depression, fear of death, insecurities."
The Divinity of life is always present. In each and every moment. What is the only distraction to this? Your attention is constantly focused on something else. Constantly focused on this little voice in your head. that doesn't ever stop speaking, analyzing, critisizing, or thinking.
Speaking in- and simultaneously listening to- this little voice in your head, is the only distraction.
Consciously take your attention and interest away from thinking in this voice, and simply be here with a silent mind. This voice is a very quiet, subtle voice that 99% of the time you're not consciously aware of. It is this voice that you are constantly talking to yourself in. It is this voice right now that is reading this. What percentage of the time are you aware of this voice? And how many seconds of your day is this voice silent? Pay attention only to this for a day. and you will see that keeping your mind silent for even 10 seconds is almost an accomplishment.
But what's so special about keeping a silent mind? Why do the masters of all the true paths speak of this silence as being incredibly profound? Because every time your mind returns to silence, it instantly returns your attention to reality. in this moment, right here right now. You become instantly alert, awake, alive. and your patterns of thinking and behaving are slowly exposed by the light of this conscious looking.
It is this conscious looking that reveals to you the character you play. As it's observed, your self-image starts to falls away and nothing is left but your conscious/alert awareness right here right now, that silently and spontaneously exists in each and every moment. This. is the source of wisdom, the source of joy + gratitude, the source of love, the source of creativity, and as you may soon come to discover, it is the source of life. Life cannot exist without awareness.