Given that your attention is such a powerful source for activating your body, learning to recognize how your attention moves in your mind is very important.

The important thing is that although our attention is physiologically very powerful, we often don’t have much control over it .

RECOGNITION AND ACCEPTANCE

When feelings and thoughts arise , we sometimes try to push them away and avoid them , or we might ruminate about how to get rid of them. This inevitably causes more upset . So it is important that we compassionately recognize that much of what goes on in our brains is to do with the way they have been constructed by evolution and life’s circumstances .

Really what you are observing is ‘ nature’s mind. ‘ Supposing you have the thought ,’ I really hate that person because they were so unkind to me.’ ‘Well’, you could get caught up in the feelings of hatred. (which will then play out in your body and make you feel bad.) or you could tell yourself you shouldn’t be feeling that and feel ashamed of your thoughts.

But supposing you look at this and you think to yourself, ‘Oh’, this this is how nature’s mind is when it confronts something it doesn’t like.’ From there you can recognize your common humanity , know that for thousands of years , all over the world , people have been having exactly that kind of thought and exactly that kind of feeling when they get upset :you’re absolutely no different!

There might be a whole range of these types of thoughts and feelings such as feeling worthless or ashamed or unlovable . The trick is not to get too caught up with them or or personalize them but see them for what they are- nature’s mind at work when dealing with difficult things. The more you link to what we call common humanity , and recognize that throughout the world depressed people have these kinds of thoughts, the less you will see them as a personal and unique to you. Of course we still have the issue of dealing with them , but it’s often the feeling of ‘it’s only me’ that causes us so much pain.

By being mindful we can become observant and aware of all the mind’s tricks and shadows. The most important thing is not to take this too personally because there is nothing in your mind- no matter what it is-that has not been in the mind of somebody else some time in history.

For example , people are often amazed when they see research showing what other pepople think about, be it aggressive fantasies or sexual fantasieswith justb about anything and everyone-the human mind is capable of all this and it is not a symptom of badness . It is mostly for the people with obssesional disorders who worry about what goes on in their mind., but it can be quite useful for depression as well, because depressed people can have all kinds of fantasies and thoughts that frighten them.

We can learn to be compassionable towards ourselves for having these thoughts , and just accept them without being frightened or repulsed by them, rather than blaming ourselves for having them and thinking we are bad horrible because we do.

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