Anonymous said: When I started dating this amazing guy, family problems erupted. My house is very unstable and has lots of bad energy. I do a great job at concealing this battles and the depression it leaves me. Although I love and trust this incredible man, I'm in no place ready to share what's been going on. His life is very pleasant and mine is the opposite. I feel like I'm living two lives. I don't know what to do.
If you would like to take more control over your mind and your fears, the best practices I know are meditation and mindfulness.
1. First, accept that in order to become more mindful, we must recognize that we are solely responsible for the thoughts our minds produce. While we can’t stop our minds completely, we can take control over them and create moments of peace for ourselves.
2. Second, when thoughts or fear arise, try to do the following as soon as you are aware of what’s taking place in your mind and body:
- Take a long, deep breath in and out. In your mind say “in” as you breathe in and “out” as you breathe out in order to ground yourself in the present moment.
- Then, feel the ground beneath your feet. Notice the way your clothes feel against your skin, the wind against your face, the sun on your cheeks. Listen to the birds singing, the rain falling around you, or the ticking of a nearby clock.
All this will ground you in the present moment. Even if thoughts want to drag you away with them, coming back to recognize the breath will give you the control you need to prevent this from happening.
Follow these steps until you feel that the thought or storyline in your mind has moved on, or until you feel that the pull of your thought or fear has dissipated slightly.
At this point, you can return to whatever you were doing, and hopefully you will be able to open up more.
Unfortunately, these steps are by no means a quick fix in saving you from the suffering we all encounter every day. In fact, at first it will take all your energy and resolve not to react to what your mind and ego are doing.
It’s also quite possible that even once you’ve covered these steps, you will still get lost in your thoughts and fears by comparing yourself to others.
Whether you do this or not isn’t the point. The point is that you’ve finally managed to sit back and look at your thoughts and fear. Once you have done this, you’ve begun the process of taking back control of your mind and your life.