Mindfulness Meditation, or working with the breath and releasing thoughts as they arise, has been very helpful to me for many years. The health, cognitive, and emotional benefits of this practice are well documented. But sometimes, to the horror of my teachers, I pull out a notepad and start paying closer attention to the thoughts skipping through my mind during meditation periods, turning each meditation into a period of contemplation on goals and intentions. Meditation has demonstrated that it makes us more open to more ideas, and more noticing of novel thoughts. So why not put this to use every once in a while?