I’m interested in the concept of your mind being like a constantly broadcasting TV set. Your thoughts are like a drama playing out in your favourite film or soap opera. You start to feel anxiety as the danger surfaces or the monster appears suddenly from the shadows. You feel warm when your favourite character walks along a beautiful beach with a golden sunset and you feel the icy blast and loneliness when they are trudging through snow, desperately trying to reach some remote and dangerous destination.

This is like how our mind works. Our thoughts constantly play in the background and they control our moods. But what if we take a leap of imagination and consider that someone could be watching our lives. Imagine our lives playing out for someone else, like a TV drama or film, and they watch our successes and failures, our achievements and crashes.

That person watching you isn’t real of course but it is actually your observing mind. Psychologists and therapists describe your mind as having 2 distinct roles. Your thinking mind is what you use to go about your daily life and it is ruled by your thoughts which randomly appear.

Then there is the observing mind. This part of the mind notices the world around us, the colours, the shapes, the smells and sounds, the sensations within our bodies.

When we are in the grip of anxiety and depression we lose touch with the observing mind and we are slaves to the thinking mind which broadcasts 24/7 and sends us on a rollercoaster of plot twists, drama and intrigue.

Psychologists , therapists and spiritual gurus all agree though that there is nothing that can be done to turn off the TV. What can be done though is to be aware that it’s playing but you don’t have to pay attention. The problem is if we pay too much attention to the broadcast there’s a danger that dwelling on the past will lead us to depression. Similarly, feeling fear and foreboding of what is to come will lead us to anxiety. The deadly twins work together, and like your favourite TV villains, will act convincingly as possible to draw you in to their world.

How often have you sat in a room with a TV programme or film playing in the background but you didn’t pay attention either because you didn’t like the broadcast or it just didn’t engage you?. Well you can do this with your mind too. You can choose what thoughts you want to engage with, enjoy the stuff you like and ignore the stuff you don’t.

It’s not easy of course. This ‘Thought TV’ is a strange one. It has no remote, no on screen buttons, not even a power switch. It plays all the time you are awake and its screen size and resolution is infinite. It can’t be switched off and you can’t simply get up and change the channel, but after a while it starts to learn what you are watching and what you aren’t interested in and then subtly changes the programming to broadcast something that is more enjoyable.