You are NOT your Thoughts, so why be Afraid of Them?

When you meditate regularly, you realize that thoughts and feelings are always percolating up. They rise into the theatre of awareness, with no necessary logical order, then subside, connected by the loosest associations. You need not take your thoughts seriously. Let’s say someone knocked on your door. Would you drop everything, run to the door, fling it open, grab them by the collar, and hurl them into the living room? Absolutely not. But that's exactly what most people do with anxiety.

How does Mindfulness Meditation Imply Acceptance?

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Mindfulness meditation implies acceptance. During meditation, you might free associate to any number of memories, each raising up into the theatre of awareness to momentarily occupy center stage, then subside again. Whatever occurs, try to greet the stream of consciousness with nonjudgmental acceptance. Practice being okay with what happens inside of you is excellent practice for being okay with what occurs in the world. When you do notice judgments, pull back and just observe. Do not judge your judgements.

The Observing Mind versus the Thinking Mind

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We usually assume that all our experiences are real—a state of “cognitive fusion.” But experience is the product of stories we tell ourselves, like “I’m too fat” or “I’m ugly" or "I'm a failure." Such stories are a lens that creates reality. Appreciating our stories as stories softens up our conviction and allows us to question these stories and make more healthy interpretations.

Role of Mindfulness in Recovery from Procrastination

Procrastination is sustained by avoidance, a problem of emotion regulation. Avoidance literally constitutes a refusal to feel uncomfortable negative emotions. Avoidance need not be conscious, though it may be, with the result that procrastination is both an event and a lifestyle. Procrastinators seek to shut down awareness of their avoidance in order to minimize discomfort. Treatment requires understanding what emotions are being avoided, and why. This journey is not so much about taking responsibility as it is about awareness.

Mindfulness Meditation and the Book of Genesis

According to Genesis, Adam and Eve existed in a state of innocence in the garden. When they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, this innocence was lost. Likewise, mindfulness meditation seeks to restore our appreciation of the present by presenting a method for suspending judgments good and bad.

Mindfulness of Conviction

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Cognitive therapy asks you to stop fixating on your thoughts and look at the evidence. But notice this: Your thoughts are not really the problem. The problem is that you believe your thoughts. You automatically grant them conviction. When you are totally believing your thoughts, that's called "cognitive fusion."

Mindfulness: Pausing and Accepting

Mindful awareness represents a pause. What is a pause? A pause is break or interruption or suspension of normal activity. During the pause, the person is disengaged from whatever preceded the pause and whatever might ordinarily follow. The purpose is not just time out or time away, however. That would be anxiety management, a trap. The purpose of a pause is to allow you to recognize that your thoughts and feelings are the product of a filter through which you view your present experience. Anxiety is just one such filter.

Mindfulness Meditation

The purpose of life is living and living can only occur in the present moment. Anxiety fills us with apprehensions and takes us out of the present moment. By following the breath, we return to the present moment and practice an appreciation of the present. Unless you can cherish the present, it's hard to know how much anxiety has diminished your quality of life.