Dear Jo:Stop thinking about your thoughts…. being mad at yourself or worrying about feeling bad just makes it worse…. Just let yourself feel bad or think negative thoughts for a little while, & then try to move on. Let me know how it goes. #NowIsNow
The Inside Story
Feeling bad about yourself isn’t fun, but it’s part of life sometimes. Mishu’s message is to stop feeling bad about feeling bad — it only makes it worse.
Negative emotions are a normal part of life
Everyone feels bad about themselves at some point. It’s normal. But we make it worse when we worry about our worries, or feel bad about our bad feelings.
Anxiety often takes the form of worrying not just about tangible things, but about the fact that we’re worrying. Or, if you tend to be critical of yourself, getting angry at yourself when you find yourself doing that.
This kind of thinking is not at all helpful.
Mishu is simple, so if we want to be like her, we should “get simple” when thinking about how to handle our negative emotions.
That means allowing them to happen, noticing them, and not judging ourselves for them. In some kinds of meditation practice (mindfulness meditation) they call this “non-judgmental awareness.” You notice that you are experiencing a negative emotion, but you don’t judge yourself for it.
Some use the analogy of a train. Your negative emotion is like a train that you observe passing by – it is real, and you feel it, and you don’t try to block it (blocking a train wouldn’t be very practical). What you do is observe it passing, and wait for it to pass. And once it does, you move on without thinking about it again.
Simple. Now is Now.