How many times in life have you found that your thoughts are running in circles? No matter what you try to do, you find that you continue to get lost in re-experiencing a hurt feeling or remembering a painful memory. Many individuals have this experience. Folks can often get stuck in what feels like an endless cycle of suffering. So, where does one start to begin to be released from this re-experiencing? Mindfulness based approaches to suffering suggest to:
- Name, Acknowledge, and Validate the Feeling, Thought, or Sensation
- Become Curious about the Feeling, Thought, or Sensation
- Develop and hold Self-Compassion and Non-Judgment about your Internal Experiences
- Begin to Separate
- "I am feeling sad and lonely" versus “I am sad, lonely, and hopeless”
- "I am experiencing a sinking feeling in my stomach” versus "I am scared and will never be free of this feeling"
Feelings, thoughts, and sensations are not identities. They may be indicators of hurt or pain, and they are also changeable states.
Emotions shift, thoughts shift, and feelings shift.
The more mindful awareness that is cultivated, the more nuance and shift one can also experience. Mindful curiosity and non-judgmental holding of internal experience may provide more room to continue to move through and with painful experiences toward what you care most about. This is an intentional practice that takes time to develop and sustain.