Recently I was reading about ending depression through using mindfulness and awareness.
“Mindfulness” is a word that’s becoming quite popular and well-known. People are using mindfulness to not only end depression, but to heal addiction (like overeating, one of my favorite topics of healing) or work with anger, or heal anxiety.
When I first heard the word “mindfulness” I had images of a slow, thoughtful way of behaving or thinking….but I wasn’t really sure what else.
I thought a person being mindful was a person who was probably meditating with their eyes closed. Or someone moving very, very sloooooowly.
A “mindful” person would be someone considerate, not boisterous or loud, not surprising or sudden. And perhaps careful, serious, quiet.
It didn’t seem like being spontaneous, fast or funny fit into the “mindfulness” category exactly.
I almost felt like I was too much in my mind, truth be told. I wanted feel free, unfettered and alive.
It seemed like “mindfulness” would mean a whole lot of focus on…..well…..
And we’re not always sure we like focusing on that thing, right?
Because the mind can be a bit whacky. Very fast, very busy. Not making much sense.
However, the funny thing is that as I look back on my experience of becoming a more and more peaceful person (wow, it’s really true) I see how giving the mind full attention changed my life experience entirely.
By actually looking at the nature of stressful thoughts, watching them, asking if they were true, and noticing the accompanying feelings, I began to have LESS activity in the mind.
It was awesome.
In his book Uncovering Happiness, Elisha Goldstein has a list of thoughts he calls NUTS.
Negative Unconscious Thoughts.
Another spiritual teacher Miranda McPherson calls them “egos greatest hits”.
These thoughts may be deep underlying thoughts that keep on repeating themselves in your head.
And it can be profound to question them, and imagine what it would be like to NOT have one. Or two. Or all of them.
Being mindful is giving your full attention to only one at a time. Just one is all that’s required.
And then asking the great questions:
Is it true? Are you 100% sure it’s true? How do you react when you’re thinking this kind of thought? Who would you be if you couldn’t even have this thought enter your mind? What if you turned the thought around to the exact opposite instead?
Now, before you read this list of NUTs….
….remember what you’re here for.
You’re here to be mindful of these sorts of thoughts.
You’re here to get the job done of investigating the truth of these kinds of thoughts. That’s probably why you’re reading this right now.
You’re interested in peace. Not war.
So see if any of these ring true for you, even sometimes.
If your answer is “yes” consider using your imagination to see what it might be like to not have these thoughts.
If you think this isn’t going to work and it’s stupid….
….this is another thought.
This does work. It’s real. It’s not stupid.
You are far greater and more infinite and full of joy than any of this thinking stuff.
Here’s the NUTS list.
Now go forth, and question!
- I feel as though I’m up against the world.
- I’m no good.
- Why can’t I ever succeed?
- No one understands me.
- I’ve let people down.
- I don’t think I can go on.
- I wish I were a better person.
- I’m so weak.
- My life’s not going the way I want it to.
- I’m so disappointed in myself.
- Nothing feels good.
- I can’t stand this.
- I can’t get started.
- I wish I were somewhere else.
- I’m worthless.
- I made a mistake.
- There is something wrong with me.
- I’m a loser.
- I’m a failure.
- My future is bleak.
- It’s just not worth it.
- I can’t finish anything.
- Turn the ones you think around to the opposite.
See what it feels like when you do this. See if you can find genuine examples of this new opposite thought being genuinely true.
- The world is supporting me.
- I’m good.
- I have succeeded some places, in others failed….and it doesn’t matter (in a good way).
- Someone understands me.
- I’ve encouraged people.
- I can always go on.
- I’m just right as I am.
- I’m so strong.
- My life’s going just right.
- I’m so proud of myself.
- Some things feel good.
- I can stand this.
- I can get started.
- Being here is perfect.
- I’m worthy.
- I made a correction.
- There is something right with me.
- I’m a winner.
- I’m a success.
- My future is bright.
- It’s always worth it.
- I can finish anything.
Much love, Grace