When you touch something extremely hot, you pull your hand away. You don't leave it there and analyze the pain.
Likewise, when you meditate and become aware of thoughts, emotions, urges, and the stories in your head, you don't analyze them. You aren't concerned with where they came from or why they arose, and you don't dwell (or ruminate) on them.
Analyzing is simply more thought.
And, it doesn't stop: those thoughts trigger more thoughts, and those thoughts trigger more thoughts, and on and on.
Instead, when meditating, you become aware of thoughts and return your attention to your anchor (usually your breath or a mantra). This act of becoming aware is often called "observing." People sometimes get confused, however, because they believe observe implies some type of action (which brings it closer to analyzing).
Therefore, it might be more appropriate to say "notice."
Regardless of whether you call it observing or noticing, when you become aware of thoughts you are breaking the habit of following your mind down familiar paths that culminate in conditioned behavior (which, in turn, leads to struggles such as anxiety, stress, a lack of focus, and so on).
Remember - thoughts aren't the problem. Getting caught up in thoughts is the problem.
Address the root cause of your suffering.
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