New book from Norwegian experts has offered an unexpected approach to fighting stress. You can't reduce stress by emptying your mind of thoughts. The opposite is the case, according to the authors of the popular science book The Power of the Wandering Mind.
If you try to fight your wandering mind, your stress levels actually increase. If you try to keep the thoughts of tobacco or chocolate at a distance, research shows that you will actually consume more of the unwanted product.
We all need to concentrate -- in our work, studies or in relations to others -- but this also requires us to create openings in our lives where we can let the thoughts come and go -- without interference.
How do we establish such a friendship? In recent years, we've often been told that mindfulness reduces the mind's tendency to wander in unexpected directions -- mind wandering. This is not something to go after, according to the authors, based on a number of scientific studies.
Mind wandering is a resource
But we need a method. The book's subtitle reveals the theme: nondirective meditation.
This is a generic term for a number of different meditation techniques, among them Acem Meditation from Norway. These techniques allow the thoughts to come and go, and thereby the thoughts lose some of their negative influence upon us. The perfect friendship!