There is a beauty in self-reflection. A self-assembling, progressive algorithm. Nothing but progress, limited only by motivation and imagination.
But there is something else, too. This fractal-like complex of thoughts about thoughts about thoughts and so on becomes more and more distorted with each cycle. Rationality is an excellent tool but it, too, has flaws. These flaws become magnified infinitely as we tend towards the fractal of self-reflection.
An artifact emerges. A lavish ravenous monster is evoked by this spiraling contraption of neuronal pathways. A feedback loop with few abortion mechanisms emerges. If these thoughts decide to wander over lands which infuse our moment with fear, this fear will stain our every consequent thought. And in turn this thought will become skewed, hyper-focused on surviving, on identifying threats, on being alert to all potential and imaginable dangers. Now this may be very well in a moment of real, tangible danger.
But often a thought is just a thought, and it ought not to resonate into a gigantic storm which obliterates all calm and transforms reality into a sardonic caricature of what it used to be. Akin to a child heaving back and forth within the smooth alabaster confines of a bathtub, fear and anxiety causes our mind to tremble and bring forth tremendous foamy, boiling, swirling, chaotic tidal waves of dirty bathwater thoughts, often with a hint of pee in them too.
"So," you may ask, "what now? How am I to escape this debilitating prison which I have shackled onto my own soul?"
The problem is complex, but the answer is simple, though not easy. One must simply not think.
"But how the Hell am I supposed to stop myself from thinking if -"
Simply do not think.
Simply be. Simply focus your energy within (or without... the difference is merely arbitrary, there is only Oneness)
Simply feel the breath entering your nose, throat and chest. Feel your muscles contracting as your ribcage rises softly. The coolness of the air as it flows. Now relax those muscles, and feel the air moving outwards. Your heartbeat slows as you exhale. Focus on all the information coming from outside, only thus can the storm be calmed. A histrionic storm you could say, without your attention it will complain and stomp and scream for you to feed it, but if you resist it will blow away and wither.
Stop reading for a few seconds and try this.
The trick lies in recognising the storm and just flipping a switch within. Flick. And the train shoots off into the distance. And the mind is still.
A thought is like a wave, it must come and it must go. You must treat it as such and you will find peace.