Do You Think Too Much? What Neuroscientists and Yogis Say


Certified Yoga Teacher who has been practicing yoga for 7 years and teaching since 2009. Originally from Chicago, have traveled extensively to teach and study yoga.

By Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati and Jayne Stevenson


Most people think too much – that’s human nature. The mind is a thought generator, it is constantly creating an endless stream of thoughts. It’s easy to become caught up in our thoughts, ruminating about the little things of life, attempting to avoid the bigger issues, and perhaps feeling powerless and doubting our ability to deal with things.

Over the past decade, various neurological studies have shown that the average person has more than thirty thousand thoughts a day. Of those thoughts, approximately ninety percent are said to be repetitive and eighty percent are classified as negative.

By “negative”, neuroscientists mean that these thoughts do not offer anything beneficial such as support for our ideas, desires, wellbeing and achievements. Most of these thoughts are your mind planning to avoid problems, worrying or ruminating. Essentially, this means that the majority of our thoughts are a constant negating force in our body-mind; they rob us of energy and mental peace.

Your initial reaction to this knowledge may be to look for an inner switch that can turn off the negative thoughts and retain the more positive, supporting thoughts. You might imagine that this switch is your intention and that you can will yourself into better thoughts. Try to control your thoughts for ten seconds and you will see just how difficult this is. In fact it is impossible. The mind has to think just as the heart has to beat, that is its function. You cannot and should not turn it off.

You cannot manage your thoughts by thinking about how to manage them. There is a better way and yogis and wisdom traditions have known how to do this for thousands of years. They developed techniques that connect the thinking mind to the knowing mind. If the thinking mind is disconnected from the …read more


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