Meditation Notes: Wanna Play… ‘Would You Rather?’
Shockingly (shameless pun intended), 2/3 of men would rather administer a shock to themselves. Several women were more than willing as well.
The study surprised researchers. It was assumed most people would enjoy some thinking time to themselves.
I admit there are times when I want to avoid meditation, because frankly I’d rather stuff uncomfortable thoughts and emotions deep down inside me or better yet, distract myself. Each time I feel anxiety, irritability, overwhelm or uneasy restlessness in my life, I know exactly what helps me cope (meditation) yet my first instinct is NOT to do it.
I have this ingrained notion that facing my thoughts is counterintuitive. Nobody runs into a storm! Almost always our gut reaction is to run away.
When uncomfortable feelings hit, I think: ‘If I face my anxiety or worry (or whatever is bugging me) then I’ll have more anxiety or feel worse than before’. Right?! That’s the kind of poor logic that occurs when I let those types of feelings take over.
Like most people, I’d rather distract my unpleasant thoughts or feelings with a game of Plants Vs. Zombies, funny YouTube videos or keeping unnecessarily busy with life’s demands. It almost feels like I’m winning by not facing them- like I got away with something.
I decided to purposely and mindfully face things in meditation this week.
Each time an unpleasant thought came up, I decided to face it as soon as I found two minutes alone. Really it just took a deep breath or two- breaking the pattern of those thoughts sooner rather than later helped clear my mind, and save me from much more anguish, over-thinking and fretting I would’ve done. It also helped me decide whether the thoughts were something I needed to act on or just a false alarm. Hint: I have a lot of false alarms.
WHY SHOULD WE USE MEDITATION TO FACE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS?
Distracting ourselves or shoving down thoughts and emotions ALWAYS shows up in other areas of our life, our health, and our relationships. It’s like a whack-a-mole game where you smack one little critter down into the hole and another pops up somewhere else.
It can show up as overeating, alcoholism, gambling, anxiety and depression. Our relationships can suffer.
Even if you meditate regularly, those thoughts will pop up again- pretty sure it has something to do with us being human. The difference is those thoughts don’t create an instant reality.
I now recognize the reoccurring thoughts that typically amount to false alarms, and easily ignore them. Been there, done that.
This can be something you experiment with in meditation. Whatever you do, don’t opt for the electric shock, or whack-a-mole for that matter.
Feel free to leave a comment about how you handle negative thoughts and emotions. Have you tried meditation for them?
>>>On Thursdays, I’m sharing thoughts in meditation (“Meditation Notes”)- personal insights; the good, the bad, the ugly, and even aha! moments from my meditation life each week. I’m a regular person who has achieved powerful results from a meditation practice that I believe others can benefit from.
I HOPE YOU JOIN ME!
I will also be sharing thoughts and stories from others who meditate, no matter where they are at on their journey. If you have a story or personal insight related to meditation, please contact me here . Stories are anonymous unless you specify otherwise.<<<