Think of your thoughts like a river. The steady stream of consciousness that flows consistent thoughts (narrative, reactions to stimuli, memories, external events being perceived, etc) through your brain.
You and I get no choice on stopping this. Meditation that preaches “stopping” thoughts is non-sense and consciousness is not something I purport to even remotely understand, neither do neuroscience.
Down this river of your thoughts, you see tree logs passing by, birds drinking water, deer starring, and fishes jumping out about.
All manner of the imagery can represent parts of your life and negative or positive thinking upon which you have not chosen to engage in - you are merely watching.
This is a mental activity, not thinking.
Now imagine those fish jumping in the river stream of your thoughts.
Let that jumping fish represent an idea. It could be about anything complex or simple. You focus, using your will, upon the “fish.”
Your focus upon the metaphoric fish is now forcing you to think.
If that fish represented a complex problem you would be going deeper and deeper into what makes the fish up, the very nature of it, the atoms, how does it work, interconnect with the world, how does it know to eat, can fish answer questions on Quora and if not, why not? lol.
Point being: Cognitive stimulation, deep thinking, logic (if A then B, therefore, C) critical analysis are the fishes you pick out and DECIDE to investigate until you get your answers.
Writing is one of the very best ways to practice thinking.
Thank you for your comment and patience whilst I thought about how to respond.
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