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How mindfulness helped me to better understand suffering

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Mindfulness as a practice and as a whole is something that has helped me massively with dealing with anxiety, low self worth, frustration and just when generally feeling disconnected.

Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment, the now. It is the feeling of the ground underneath your feet, the cold autumn breeze rustling leaves as they blow by, drops of rain on your skin. It is clarity and acceptance of what is in the now, not stagnating in thoughts and attachments of our past or of the future.

It can help to loosen such attachments we hold onto and identify habitual patterns that might not be as benign as we once thought. By simply starting to understand this, and while spending more time throughout my day actively trying to get out of my head and back into the world, I slowly and progressively felt less reactive and absorbed by negative emotions or thoughts that would previously have hindered me lost in the abyss of endless what if’s? and why’s?

What really caused a massive shift in my perspective (as torturous as it might sound) was truly paying attention to and processing pain as fully as possible. For example, was the pain I was feeling physical or emotional? Was there a root cause? Was it something I’m capable of sitting through and observing or pushing through?

Going into the pain with a heightened awareness can help us grow and potentially break negative cycles of thought. Lean into it with a sense of curiosity, identify and label the pain and let that create space so you can become the observer instead of playing the victim and succumbing to it.

What we take from the experience can be what defines our path. Instead of looking at it as a negative, try to flip the perspective of it into something more positive. What can we learn from the experience? Are you grateful now that it has happened and is over?

I have found that even just taking a few moments each day to stop what I’m doing and be completely present can have a massive effect on how i handle or process negative emotions or feelings.

By trying to let go of attachment to anything I might be feeling, thinking of worrying about, and remembering that the present moment is where we can all find stillness and peace.

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