At the moment, I am writing from my room in the Hyatt Regency Hotel overlooking Darling Harbour in Sydney – certainly a location conducive to mindfulness. Sydney Harbour, even on an overcast day as it is today, has a natural grandeur and beauty that induces awe.
I woke this morning and undertook the guided meditation on fear that I had written about previously. This meditation builds awareness of both our thought processes and the attendant bodily sensations. It can lead to a calming of the mind and bodily relaxation.
Later, while I was reading Haruki Murakami’s novel, South of the Border, West of the Sun, I came across this profound statement which reflects the stance of being-in-the-moment:
Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free the world’s reality. (p.86)
You can be-in-the-moment by focusing on some aspect of nature, your breathing, bodily sensations or sounds around you. Mindfulness meditation helps you shed anxiety-inducing thoughts and free your body from the tension or numbing effects of fear.
With clarity gained through mindfulness we can be in a better position to assess potential risks and more readily develop strategies that will enable us to reduce the risk and attendant fears. So, it does not mean that we fail to act on realistic fears but that we learn to manage them constructively and respond appropriately.
Fear is a natural process as a form of self-protection but we can too easily see threats where they do not exist – the negative bias of our brains tends to work overtime so that we tend to anticipate the worst possible outcome, rather than what is most likely to happen.
As we grow in mindfulness through meditation and reflection, we can come to grips with our anxiety and fears, learn to name the feelings involved, understand how they are manifested in our bodies and develop calmness and clarity to manage them.
By Ron Passfield – Copyright (Creative Commons license, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives)
Image source: courtesy of pattyjansen on Pixabay
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