For the beginner, it is easier to be aware of thoughts and feelings.
Paying attention is a different function of the mind – you know that you’re looking; you know you’re listening – that’s the mind paying attention. Knowing (consciousness) and awareness are also different functions of the mind.
Intention or volition is also a different function, a mind activity – the mind wants to move or do something.
The most obvious are feelings and thoughts. Other mental activities are more subtle because the mind does not have the habit of being aware of them.