Thinking that one can stop thinking is a common belief that many people hold when they come to a mindfulness meditation class. The short answer is that it is in the mind’s nature to think and, for this reason, the thoughts can’t be stopped. When a thought arises and you realize you are paying attention to it rather than the breath, the first strategy would be to try to let go of the thought and gently and kindly return your attention back to the breath. You can expect that you may have to do this over and over and over. While this can be discouraging, see it as an opportunity to practice patience and determination. In time, as you learn to pay attention to other aspects of your experience, the dominance of the thinking mind will reduce.