Without tampering with your skull in any way, you can become skilled at mind-watching. Using mindful awareness, “you can stand outside your mind as if you are watching what is happening to another rather than experiencing it yourself.” The “watching part,” sometimes called “the Observing Self” (or “Observing Ego”), is somewhat detached from emotions and can view your thoughts and actions with some impartial objectivity. By contrast, the “experiencing” part of your mind notices sense impressions and reacts emotionally to them.
Why it’s essential: Noticing your mental habits and activities (fantasies, stories, ideas) is the first step toward calming or changing your mind. Developing an Observing Self is also critical to monitor your actions.
What you can do: To cultivate your Observing Self, notice your self-talk without judgment. Do you worry about the same things again and again? Do you talk to yourself in an encouraging way or a hurtful way? Listen to your self-talk, and you will see your mind at work. At some point, you might decide to change any thinking habits that are holding you back.