When I first began my mindfulness journey it was one of confusion and frustration. I was thinking, “you want me to sit here and just breathe and try not let my thoughts overwhelm me!?” That was my simplistic view of what Mindfulness was at the time. As a child I’ve had diagnosed ADD, which meant my mind raced and wandered all the time. The combination of childhood trauma also added a layer of difficulty when it comes to regulating my thoughts and emotions. I thought it was normal having these anxiety infused thoughts racing through my head every second. Since I could remember I had an anxiety about death. At any moment I thought I was going to die. It haunted me daily. I didn’t think this was abnormal, it was just the way it was. My mind was a labyrinth of different catastrophic thoughts and situations. Reflecting, it’s a miracle that I could function as highly as I could.
What mindfulness taught me was to observe my thoughts as thoughts. I could be curious with them, play around with them, observed how they began and ended, but most importantly I didn’t have to act on them nor did I have to believe these thoughts were reality. It allowed me to be an observer of my thoughts and feelings and not a participant. It gave me space. Space to evaluate, and act when it was necessary to act. I wasn’t driven so much by emotional impulse, but by observation and mindfulness.