From the Vermont Digger: “I think, therefore I am”……worried, perplexed, agitated, confused, preoccupied…..and just plain stressed-out and unhappy. Forget Descartes: You may not know your own mind literally; and that’s the problem.
“Don’t worry, be happy” just won’t cut it!
“Yes, I admit I’ve got a thinking problem….” goes the country song.
If only there were AA for the mind—12 steps to end over-thinking, obsessing and self-preoccupation–over-thought and overwrought. But let’s face it, there’s a lot to be anxious, depressed, angry and concerned about here in 2010, with jobs, (if we have one), finances, relationships, health and the vicissitudes of life in general.
It may not be our lives but our minds that are driving us crazy, according to an ancient Buddhist practice called mindfulness, which examines how our minds work and how they can contribute to our misery.
To remedy the stress and emotional distress of mindless living, we may need to just stop living life as emotional automatons—going through the motions emotionally. “Having a great time, wish I were here,” writes Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at University of Massachusetts Medical School, in his book, “Coming to Our Senses.” It’s the “can’t remember driving the last 20 miles” school of living.