Mindfulness and stress
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” ~Charles Swindoll
When looking at stress we must look to our minds first. When we are in the middle of trying to solve a problem or trying to deal with the pressure of a problem our mind tends to place an incredible amount of importance on that problem. It’s as if our mind doesn’t have a choice—it has to think about this thing because it’s of monumental significance. But here is the truth – our mind cannot just worry about one thing it seems to want to worry about everything. Maybe it is just looking for variety! It’s too boring to just have one thing on our mind!
We’ve all had the feeling before that while we are focusing on one problem it seems like it’s the most important problem in the whole world and the other problems aren’t that important, that is, until you focus on that other problem! Then the other problem gets all your attention and now you are facing two monumental problems.
When you start learning to become mindful of your thoughts you begin to realize that it isn’t the problem that is causing you the stress but rather your own mind because your mind is looking for something to worry about. It doesn’t really matter what the problem is because your mind will either invent a problem or cause one. This is what the mind does.
If you can see how your mind creates this stress you can start to work to calm your mind. Once you have begun to calm your mind, you’ll start to be able to identify harmful stress patterns of behavior. Your daily mindfulness practice becomes your greatest tool in training your mind not to react to your problems and the pressure.
The difference is that meditation allows you to step back and watch what is going on in your mind.