Shallow Thinking vs Deep Thinking…

Our mind is always filled with thoughts, we keep thinking over and over…it never stops.

One study shows that we have more than 6,000 thoughts per day i.e 6.5 thoughts per minute (While awake). 

Moreover, with all these distractions, digital information, and connections, the daily thoughts per person are increasing every decade, just imagine for future generation(s) it will be so fast, vast, and overwhelming. 

We in general have two types of thoughts or thinking, Shallow thoughts and Deep thoughts:

Shallow thinking:

Shallow thoughts are the churn of daily thoughts, it is our day-to-day common thoughts and are a lot in numbers, almost 80% are shallow thoughts:

Everyday musings: 

  • “I need to clean out car today.”
  • “Gotta add oatmeal to the grocery list.”
  • “What a gorgeous day. I should really get out and get some sun.”
  • “This is pending, that is pending, needs this, wants that, mostly thinking or wanting NOT much action.”

Social Comparisons:

  • He is earning so much, I am earning this much, in comparison with others.
  • S/he went on this trip, we didn’t or couldn’t go. Our neighbor’s car, house, etc…Again comparison…


  • “I need to deliver this tomorrow”
  • “I have a job interview”
  • Fear of finance, health, etc


  • Working on something, while in a meeting – Yes when we are multi-tasking we are shallow thinking.

Shallow thoughts are pensive, negative in nature, and are mostly distractions.

Deep thinking:

Deep thoughts are where we get into the groove, thoughts are deeper, longer, and more meaningful, these are much lesser in numbers and are more creative:

Reading & understanding a book

Doing something productive – Writing code. Building something. Writing.

Gardening, pursuing your hobby.

Playing sports or music etc

Reflection or introspection.

Deep thoughts are more happy and meaningful in nature.

If you notice we have more Shallow thoughts when we are angry, anxious, or worried i.e when we are surrounded by negativity. And when we spend more time in shallow thinking, the lesser happy we are, and more negative thoughts crop in. It kind of goes in a loop…

Whereas the more we spend time in deep thinking, we are happy, our performance improves and we enjoy growing & learning. 

So how to have more deep thoughts, how to move from shallow thinking to deep thinking as much as possible?

Change your mind channel

We need to change our mind channel. Convert our shallow thoughts to deeper thoughts, for that first let’s try this experiment: 

  1. Think about “white bears”(Or anything of your choice) for 30 seconds. 
  2. Then think of anything except “white bears” for the next 30 seconds. You will see that the “white bears” kept appearing in your thoughts. 
  3. Then give yourself a simple task that requires full attention, like sorting a deck of cards by suit in 30 seconds. 
  4. When finished, ask yourself if u thought about “white bears”. The answer will probably be “no”.

This experiment shows how changing our behavior even for smaller thoughts, can help us change our thoughts. You can think of a lot of other healthy ways to “change the channel” – like shooting hoops or baking cupcakes.

So whenever we are in grip of negative and shallow thoughts, change your mind channel by this simple exercise to something productive, to something you love doing. 

At long we will be better, more successful, and more content if we garnish more deep & happy thoughts.