What Do You Think About When Your Mind Is Not Preoccupied?

For many of us, life is very full. At any given waking moment, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of things to be preoccupied with.

Most of what we think about from moment to moment tends to be concerned with immediate needs or problems: What should I wear today? Did I pay that bill? I’ve got an early meeting at work that I can’t be late for. What should I eat? …and on and on.

If you were to remove these sorts of thoughts from your mind, what is left?

To answer this question, there are some concrete steps you can take. There are different strategies for taking your mind off of these bustling, nagging thoughts.

One method is meditation. Meditation has grown in popularity over the last several years, and there are some suggestions that it can help to alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. There is no one sure-fire recipe to learn to meditate, although most methods involve focusing on something tangible, like breathing, to avoid preoccupation.

Another route to a peaceful mind is to surround yourself with a serene environment, like walking through a remote stretch of woods. If you remove reminders of your everyday life from your experience, you are less likely to think about it.

Yet another way is through intense physical exertion like exercise. Often your mind is able to let go of thoughts when your muscles are in action. This might be due to reduced oxygen available to your brain, or perhaps because of endorphins that are released during exertion.

Whatever method you use, one of these or something else altogether, what thoughts remain after the others are removed? Do you think of nothing? Or perhaps abstract thoughts become easier? Or maybe you become tuned in to the details of the world in front of your eyes.

What do you think about when your mind is not preoccupied?

Related questions: What do you think about when out for a walk? Are we too busy? Meditate or medicate? How do you find peace when you need it?

Stairs Or Elevator?

If you need to go to a higher or lower floor, are you more likely to take the stairs or the elevator? Does the number of floors make a difference? Does it matter if you are alone or with someone else?

Share why if you wish.

Stairs Or Elevator?

Exercise: Indoor Or Outdoor?

When you work out, do you like to do so outside, in the elements? Or do you prefer to exercise inside, like going to the gym or running on a treadmill?

Share why if you wish.

Exercise: Indoor Or Outdoor?

How Do You Find Peace When You Need It?

In an increasingly fast-paced world where we are constantly surrounded by an uncountable number of distractions, it would help our minds to find peace and calm. But how?

Our phones light up, ding, and send us messages constantly. Cable news channels quickly scroll one scoop after another while talking heads yell more than report. Personal and work emails demand immediate attention, or else they’ll clog up our mailboxes. And our competitive ways plague adults and children alike.

But these issues are mundane when compared to other matters. For instance, today’s children practice active shooter drills.  And we’re living on a planet that’s becoming less hospitable with every passing year.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


We live in a high-stress world, and thus, many of us are highly-stressed people. While anyone, at any age, may excusably be on edge, others experience diagnosable anxiety. Nearly one-fifth of the population suffers from this mood disorder each year, and roughly a third will experience it in their lifetime.

It would do us a world of good to experience peace. So, what do you do to escape it all?

Do you meditate or practice yoga? Do you find peace in a place of worship? Perhaps a nature hike calms you down. Or listening to music relaxes your mind and body. Possibly, like me, you head out to your garden to weed or just take in your surroundings.

How do you find peace when you need it?

Related questions: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Peace or discomfort? How do you perform self-care? Is our attention fractured?