Is it Working?

January 25th, 2009

How long have you been trying to change the way you feel, think or behave?  What have you been doing?  Do you berate yourself for thinking a certain thought?  Do you demand of yourself “Don’t think this!”  “Don’t be depressed!”  Do you have a drink, surf the web for porn, or eat…all in an effort to change your feelings, thoughts, problems?

My next question is…Is it working?  Perhaps for the moment it does.  But how about long-term?

There’s a new movement in the therapeutic world, with ties in tried-and-true and even ancient beginnings.  12-Step programs and Buddhist thought suggest that, instead of trying to will away or control our thoughts and feelings, we accept them.  By accept, I don’t mean that you resign yourself to feeling bad about yourself.  Rather, you can try to simply note that the feeling or thought is there in your mind.  For example, “Right now, I’m feeling sad.”  Or “Right now, I’m thinking that I don’t like myself.” 

The idea is that we acknowledge our feelings and thoughts – good and bad – when the arrive.  We don’t try to avoid them, because even our best efforts have proven this to be impossible.  By noting them, we strip them of their power.  We might still have uncomfortable feelings, but we don’t have to take them as the truth.  In other words, feelings aren’t facts.

I know it sounds simplistic.  Perhaps it is.  But it’s not simply done.  Practice and a self-forgiving attitude can help.  Are you willing to try something new?

Comments are closed.