It could come from disappointing others or being disappointed. It could start from grief and an accumulation of bitterness, resentment, and years of feeling misunderstood. It could spiral down from a bad morning, a critical thought, a negative image of yourself and your body. It could even come from disease and physical illness.
Suffering is like tentacles of pain that causes greater anguish if we react in response. Thoughts can be sticky like spider webs and hard to release, give up and let go of. Maybe you’re stuck on a desire to be right, an upsetting conversation with a loved one or difficulty you have with accepting yourself.
Well-known mindfulness expert, writer and teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD says in a podcast with Sounds True to, “‘Imagine your thoughts were like a cascading waterfall just going over a cliff. Just never ending.’ If you are able to sort of sit behind it…so you weren’t completely inundated or drenched by the water falling…you could just sit back there and just listen to the sounds and the energy of the thought-stream expressing itself. You would have an entirely different relationship to creativity, to imagination, to negative thoughts, to anger, to sadness to anxiety…” Doing so, he says, causes “less self-generated suffering.”
Accepting difficulty as is can actually be healing. Hardship can be freedom. It can help us be aware of what’s working and not working and give us space to make better choices in our lives. In this way, that negative thought, discord with your teen or critical belief are like seeds sprouting a new way of being in the world towards self-love, self-discovery and self-acceptance, that will ultimately change your life.
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Planting the Seeds of Mindfulness
(Mindful Parenting) – Mindfulness is a simple, yet powerful concept for adults. But kids? Here’s how you can jumpstart their own mindfulness journey by helping them be aware and conscious of their thoughts.
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(Sorting Out Your Life) – The teenage years are a difficult time for your teen and you. Rebelling, distancing, and arguing can be a normal and healthy part of this developmental stage. But so they don’t stray too far away from you, here’s 8 ideas to help you reconnect.
What Kind of Creative Person Are You?
(The Creative Mind) – Creativity isn’t just about drawing photos, taking pictures and painting. You may be super creative and not even know it. Here are a few careers that are deemed uncreative, but may be the most creative out there.
Three Things NOT to Say to Yourself Unless They Are True
(NLP Discoveries) – Which one of these thoughts are responsible for bringing you down, making you feel guilty and preventing you from true happiness? Discover if there is any truth behind those self-sabotaging thoughts.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jul 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Uyemura, B. (2014). Best of Our Blogs: July 15, 2014. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/15/best-of-our-blogs-july-15-2014/