'I want you to tell me how to stop a b or c happening' 'I can't relax'. I feel tense all the time'. 'I keep worrying I'll make a fool of myself'. 'It's affecting my relationships. I keep getting angry with everybody'.
I could go on. These are just some examples of the way life's stresses can affect us negatively. There are so many different contexts and triggers, histories, pasts and behaviours that lead up to these statements; so what might mindfulness do? How may being in the present moment help? A place to begin is putting things into context. We can often paint ourselves into a corner with a one eyed view of the problems we face. Freeing body and mind from the grip of harmful thoughts and emotions is one of the outcomes that can be generated through a mindfulness practise. To promote beginners mind in response to a problem or difficulty is a skill we develop.
Skills in mindfulness develop in a fascinating way. In the present moment we learn of the interconnections between body and mind and how in the present we may select to respond in perhaps a new more beneficial way to what arises. The statements at the beginning represent some expressions of from where we may begin when we are not mindful. Significantly our mindful responses are not generated through thinking our way out of our problems. That is where a mindfulness practise comes in. We equip ourselves with awareness that opens up our ability to see things from a new place, allowing what is there to be there, not pushing it away, turning towards it and welcoming it in.
In the realm of thinking when not well practised in mindfulness this might seem to be the most alarming of prospects. How can the very things that have distressed us be present and that be OK? That is the magic of the present moment. Learning MBSR practises of body scan, breathing meditation, mindful movement and the breathing space we learn how to manage difficult things and form a helpful relationship to our past.