by Justin Standfield
No. 10 They don’t believe their thoughts (and they don’t take them all that seriously).
At first, the concept of not believing your own thoughts sounds a bit unusual – we might be tempted to assume that it applies to someone who doesn’t have the courage of their own convictions. In fact, people who practise mindfulness appreciate that their thoughts arise and will also naturally ebb away, unless of course we choose to react to them or explore them further. Our perceptions of the world, of others and of ourselves are simply that – perceptions, the results of our perceiving what’s going on. In that sense, our thoughts are not actually the pure, untainted, ultimate truth; therefore, these representations of reality should not always be believed 100%.
Mindful people don’t take their thoughts seriously in the sense that they maintain an attitude of curiosity, acceptance and openness to whatever may come up during mindfulness, even if it offers a challenge to what they thought they held to be true. This aspect of mindfulness can be very beneficial for reducing stress, managing pain, decreasing the tendency to worry and improving interpersonal relationships.