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When worry is our default, stilling the mind isn’t easy.
When we’re prone to anxiousness, overthinking, self doubt, and panic—it feels strange to be calm. Anyone with trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will probably tell you so.
It can be a struggle to slow down, to breathe, to meditate—to pause.
There’s an expectation we’re going to feel all zen like—instantly.
We take in a deep, deep, deep breathe—
Suddenly, the panic rises up!
We scramble for more breath, and more, and more—until we feel defeated by the noise in our mind saying, “Don’t go there.”
The worst feels like it’s happening all over again.
So, why on earth would we breathe? Why practice breathing at all?
It’s almost like there’s comfort in our anxious, worried, thinking—even though it doesn’t feel nice.
Our brain is used to it. Anything we have done for a long time is comfortable, familiar.
Neuroscience tells us so. Age old wisdoms tell us so.
Even Jesus said, “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
There’s a deep understanding that our mind likes to stay the same.
Unless we choose otherwise.
For us humans, the predictable is “safe.”
A calm mind,
empty of noise,
what they think, what she thinks, what he thinks,
we are not used to that,
—to nothingness in our mind.
We worry that something could go wrong.
We brace ourselves in anticipation.
Our worry then becomes a shield against potential threat; we are in a sense protecting ourselves from the unpredictability of the “unknown.”
The more we practice breathing deeply and allowing ourselves to sink into (the discomfort of) stillness, the more we realise a clear mind (empty of the paralysis of worry), is a mind that can perform at its peak.
A mind transforming beyond the past, the pain—the worry.
I think there will always be the temptation to go back to comfort. To latch onto emotions, and revisit the corners of our mind we hid behind for so long.
When we are tired, stressed, and worn out, our brain is less guarded. It’s vulnerable.
Old patterns and ways of thinking may surface.
And continue the practice of stillness.
Choose your breath, more than the old stories that continuously keep you on edge.
Practice enough, and the calm will become safer than your worry.