Mindfulness is learning to be skillful in the rapids of thought.
When it seems impossible to shut the thoughts down. When it makes you angry that you can’t stop thinking. When you get frustrated because you cannot not think. And even more frustrated when you try to think of something positive, but can’t; then berate yourself for not being able to focus on something good. Ugh!
What’s happening is that you are wrestling with your own thoughts. Like fighting whitewater rapids with your hands; punching and trying to stop the water from coming. And you try to find a rock (something positive) to hold on to, but you can’t keep your grip. So exhausting! And for some of us, it can feel like we are going to drown under all those thoughts. But. There is a another way!
Mindfulness is learning how to use our strength and energy more skillfully. It’s learning how to stop fighting the rapids of thought, and making our way to the riverbank. Then once we find the riverbank, we make our way to sit, and we rest.
We are able to watch the rapids go by. We are no longer fighting, trying to empty, stop, or grab for something. The rapids (thoughts) are still there, but we have found a way to rest.
In this situation, all the elements are still there. You didn’t get rid of anything. The only thing that changed was you – but it can make all the difference.
Take a break from the madness. Stop wrestling with your own thoughts.
Learn to rest my friend.
* Laura C Meyer, MS, is a mindfulness instructor at The University of Virginia, a mental health and addiction therapist, and founder of livemorestudio.com.
This website is designed as an educational experience. It is not therapy. The information acknowledges that while medication is a viable treatment option, it is not the only solution. Disclaimer