01 September 2015

Mindfulness - Letting go of Anxiety and Fantasy

What is Reality?

I read about "Fantasy and Reality" on a self therapy website (part 1, part 2) which basically said that unless something can be detected by your senses, it's not real.
I must honestly say that my initial thought was "that's bullshit" because "emotions are real!!! but our senses can only pick up small parts of the whole visual/auditory/etc spectrum!! there is no "reality", blah, blah, blah"
I don't know why but I kept on reading and I started to get what they were saying when it came to the part about there being no reason to believe your thoughts or listen to your beliefs.
Unless it appears in your objective reality, your thoughts and beliefs might be true but they are not real in that moment.
And it clicked for me how that was related to destructive thought patterns and beliefs that don't serve you, especially when it comes to psychological disorders.
This was actually a totally revolutionary way for me to look at the world, although it might be totally obvious to a more logical and pragmatic person.

Good and Bad Fantasies

That might explain why I struggle with living in fantasies, rather than reality.
By that I mean both the good ones, the romanticizing of reality, the daydreaming, the thinking up of scenarios in my head that will never happen in reality before I go to sleep, as well as the bad ones, the anxieties and thoughts of "they hate me", "nobody wants me to be here", "I'm worthless", etc.
Both the good and the bad fantasies keep me detached from reality.
So practicing an objective detachment and neutral observation could actually be super beneficial, I thought, even though I'm more of a feeling person that normally rejects pure objectivity.

Detachment

We all experience the world really subjectively and filter it through our beliefs and perceptions.
I'ts good to distance yourself from that.
For example, AvPD (Avoidant Personality Disorder) is a psychological disorder which creates thought patterns making one expect judgement and rejection and thus avoid - well - life.
With social anxiety or even just "regular shyness", too, one might know that there is no real threat, but it's still really hard to remember and act accordingly in the moment.

There's the thinker and there's the observer of the thinker.
Take in the latter position and start evaluating the thought patterns and beliefs that were created throughout your life.
Be aware of and challenge your thoughts.
Listen to your beliefs and really ask yourself whether it makes sense to believe them.


EXERCISE: Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a great way to take in the perspective of the observer.
It is practiced by sitting still and doing nothing but noticing your breath - which is really hard.
Your mind will scream and protest when you try to quiet it for the first time in forever and it will be impossible to be thought-less.
But that's okay. The whole practice of mindfulness is about non-attachment. Noticing and letting go.
I like to imagine my mind as a blue sky and my thoughts as clouds passing by.
Notice them, then let them pass by without attachment. Try not to follow a train of thought. Let it pass, return your attention to the breath.

This is a video on mindfulness meditation that I really love, by the ever so lovely Teal Swan :)


This is a practice that I will start implent in my life.
It's a kind of self-experiment and, if you want to, you can join me.
Have a nice day.
Marina

3 comments:

  1. I liked this post a lot. Even though i felt a little bit sad reading it. I know daydreaming is not good every single time, but the whole non-attachment sounds tough. I mean, remembering the clouds on the sky makes me happy, their shapes and movement. Or someone's trully smile. Being an observer is a great thing, finding those little details in everything. But a combination of both (thinker & observer) could be also good. Any way, maybe i'm talking non-sense. Glad to see that you're back, Marina. Good vibes to you. xx

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you.
      I will never be able to be an objective observer 24/7 and I don't think that's the point either.
      But for someone who is caught up in subjective thoughts all the time this is a good skill to attain in order to find some balance :-)
      Thank you!! xx
      Marina

      Delete
  2. Hey Marina, knowing this, is it hard for you to decide whether to pursue astrology or not? Because Eckhart Tolle says to not judge but I feel like all astrology is doing is attaching us to these ideas and judging what we are.

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