Mindful Moment - Day 6

Intensive Mindfulness For Depression

An exercise in observing thoughts

Let’s try something a little different today. As you watch the scene back again, try to focus on one ripple at a time. Observe where the raindrop hits the water, watch the ripples as they circle outwards and disappear, then quickly focus on another and another as they appear and disappear.

How did that feel?

  • Stressful?
  • Impossible?
  • Like a race you can’t win?
  • Frustrating?
  • A big failure?


Imagine each of those ripples is a thought….

You never know when thoughts are going to hit. Like raindrops. They just pop into your mind don’t they? They’re constant and unpredictable.

You never know where the next thought is going to come from. Like raindrops. They can be triggered by something you see, smell, hear, remember, taste or feel.

And you never know how big the ripple effect of each thought will be. Like raindrops. They can hold great power if we attach emotion to them.

Once we understand (and accept) the never-ending nature of thoughts, we can begin to understand where our power over them lies – in the energy we feed them. Or choose NOT to feed them.

As we get better at observing our thoughts with detachment – letting them float by like a fast-moving river – we can begin practising acknowledging them and letting them go. Some thoughts will be persistent, even obsessive, like a dripping tap! If there is an action we can take to alleviate some of the stress these particular types of thoughts cause, then we should wholeheartedly take that action.

However, in a lot of instances, there is nothing we can do. It is out of our control. The brain is focusing on what it fears – either something that has happened before in the past that caused pain and damage, or something might happen in the future that might cause pain or damage.

At these times, sit in the moment with this thought, observe it, acknowledge it for what it is. A thought. A memory. A worry. A picture. It is not a reality in this present moment. Rather than attaching past or future emotion to it, we can practise observing it, then letting it go. Letting it float away like a ripple.

Day 6 Quote
Tomorrow you will receive your Day 7 - Mindful Moment email. Until then, be playful with your thoughts – watch them as if they’re innocent puppies or kittens playing about in your mind!