blog 7 earworms sticky thoughtsThere's an annoying jingle stuck in your head. It's been going non-stop since this morning, perhaps even yesterday. Before that, you had a melody in your head that you actually enjoy, that wasn't as bothersome. But this one you need to get rid of. Should you put on your headphones, and look for music that you'd rather be listening? Or just wait for the damn thing to wear out eventually..? You could also just try to focus on your work, or perhaps the daily news. Maybe check your browser, see what's on the internet?

Or, what if you'd just stop the jingle in your head, as easily as you press the stop-button on your music player?

Perhaps because it may seem difficult, or even impossible. Noise is our constant companion. Some of it comes from the outside, but a lot of it is incessantly bouncing around in our heads. We can be so used to this ongoing chatter that feels like a normal part of our everyday lives. For the most part, we may not even notice it, or be aware that it's actually happening. But is this really a good, healthy way to go about our lives? Can you be at your best, if your mind unable to be silent?

I'm often surprised how, for many, the idea of regularly and purposefully training the mind is among the last priorities in life. We're ready to work hard, learn new things, and find different ways to apply our knowledge. But how many are actually willing to put daily effort into simply becoming better at calming and focusing their minds, without any extra-curricular activity? Based on my experience, surprisingly few.

One reason might be that even today, many still regard meditation as a religious, specialized or altogether foreign discipline. However, its true value ultimately lies in practical, everyday benefits. When practiced correctly and consistently, meditation not only helps us to set aside unwanted thoughts, but also makes us better aware of our conscious minds, and enables us to be calm and relaxed in any situation. And these are not advanced attainments derived from years of dedicated practice, but the most basic expected results of fundamental meditation practice.

Nontheless, it bears mentioning that if you really want solid results from your training, you should start by finding a good teacher. The mind is your most valuable resource. To learn how to use it, the best guide is someone who already has the skills.