Get the App

Help, I can’t stop thinking

by Andy Puddicombe

  • Share

Question: 

I have just finished my Foundation series and have moved on to the first themed pack and chose the Creativity pack. I’ve been meditating for about three months, although not diligently everyday. I expect that I would be more mindful and present in my day to day activities but I find myself more lost in thought more often then before. I’m not sure if I’m doing my meditations correctly or if this is because I’m now much more aware of how often I get lost in thought. Any thoughts?

Andy’s answer:

This is such a common experience and in many ways you have answered your own question. One of the first things we notice when we start to meditate is how busy the mind is and how often we are distracted. It doesn’t matter whether it’s during our meditation or when we’re involved in everyday activity, it can be really shocking to see.

I remember when I was learning to meditate, being so shocked by the number of thoughts, that I went to my teacher and complained that the meditation wasn’t working. I said, “Look, I never used to have this problem before, in fact I think the meditation might even be making the situation worse, I just think all the time now!” It took me quite some time to realize that my mind had always been that way and it was only now, through the lens of awareness, that I was seeing it more clearly, in all of it’s confusion and chaos.

But this is very much part of the process. It is in realizing we are distracted that we create the opportunity to be present. So it is actually very encouraging you are seeing this activity clearly and, as long as you remember to use these moments of realization as a reminder to rest in the here and now, as opposed to getting wrapped up in thinking, then in time you will start to notice a fundamental shift in perspective.

Warm wishes,

Andy

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.