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Explore what it means to feel doubtful while meditating and how to get a little distance from those thoughts.

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When doubt arises in the mind, it's really tempting to buy into those thoughts. For some reason, those thoughts sound a little more important, a little more believable than the other thoughts. So thoughts about what happened yesterday, or a conversation we're planning to have later in the day, or perhaps, I don't know, chores we have to do at home. Those don't kind of seem, you know, we know, we're used to that. We kind of know they don't require our immediate attention, but somehow that little thought, that little question mark, that doubt that arises in the back of the mind, somehow it feels like it deserves more importance, but it is just a thought, and like any other thought, the aim here, the intention is to step back, to have a little bit of distance from the thoughts, from the feelings, not to buy into them, not to get swept away by them, not to get overwhelmed by them, but instead to see them clearly and to let them go. Now, of course, thoughts of this nature have the potential to prevent us from even sitting down to get some headspace. We might not even have got to the point of beginning the exercise, and already the mind is, "Do I have time? I don't know." Or, "Is this gonna work?" Or, "Are these techniques, are they really gonna make a difference?" Even if we've done it before, even if we've experienced the difference, still these question marks might arise in the mind. So it's really important that we kind of work with this in two ways. On the one hand, we're saying, okay, these are just thoughts. We don't treat them in any other way. And at the same time, we can actually reflect, and you'll notice at the end of each kind of session, I always ask you to just notice how you're feeling now, and over time, the mind starts to recognize that it feels different now, and in recognizing that, it gains confidence, it gains trust, and it's trust not because I say it works. It's not because of, historically, these techniques have been shown to work, or scientifically, even. Instead it's your experience, and you know and you can reflect on that, and okay, well, yeah, actually I did feel different. And that's what it means to kind of build genuine confidence and trust in these techniques, and it's a really important part of it, but from a bigger, a bigger perspective, it is about kind of seeing those thoughts clearly and not buying into them. I think when we're learning these techniques, it can be, you know, doubt's especially active in the mind, and it's usually about, you know, our own worries and concerns of whether we're doing it in the right way. So rather than simply doing the exercise, we're thinking about doing the exercise and we're thinking about whether we're doing it right or whether we need to do...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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