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Establish mental clarity with the "noting" technique

Have you ever felt your mind wandering off as you do a simple or mundane task? E.g. washing your hands or walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Do you ever catch yourself thinking about your to-do list or reflecting on what has already happened? When these thoughts cloud your mind while you do something as simple as washing your hands or walking, you are no longer present. 


This is where “mental noting”, or “labelling”, can make a difference. The primary benefit of this technique is to help keep you present - especially during meditation. The act of noting acts as an anchor to the present. 


Mental noting is not a difficult technique: you apply a label to a thought or feeling. E.g. If you catch yourself thinking about a big pitch later this afternoon, you note it as “worry”. Each time that thought arises, keep labelling that thought as “worry”. This will help establish clarity and awareness when the mind drifts off, but also gives space for that thought or feeling. You’re able to acknowledge the thought or feeling from a different perspective, similar to taking a step back, and you are no longer in the grip of the thought.  


Next time you catch your mind wandering, try this technique and label the thought/feeling. You’ll start to recognize patterns in your own experience. I hope this practice will help you be a little more present in your day to day.




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