- Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
- Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn
All these years and I now find out that I’ve been ruminating. Previously I always called it ‘grumbling’. An incessant internal dialogue that could last for days or longer, where conversations, questions, responses, problems, what I said and what I should have said, would churn around in my head. Doing that would only make things worse, I’d just get angrier, my heart would race and I always felt that my blood pressure must be off the charts. I could do all this at a moments notice, no matter what else I was doing. Some problems would be forgotten about within a few days, others, maybe longer. There are things that happened years ago that when I think about them today still have the power to irritate me.
I had read Mindfulness in Plain English years ago but had never thought that it covered depression. Not that I really consider myself as depressed, I just thought that there must be a way to feel happier. In the past, whenever there has been some problem, either at work, personally or even some driver on the road, I’d be miserable about it for a few days but a week later I’d wonder what all the fuss was about.
Just reading the first chapters of the book I recognised myself immediately in the pages. Halfway through I was reading an example of someone who had a problem at work and I was doing the very same thing myself.
The book says that this is just ruminating, the more you do it, the worse it gets. If you don’t think about the problem then the problem goes away and you start to feel happier. They are just thoughts. To get this negativity out of your head you have to have something positive to replace it. So you focus on what is happening to you now. Don’t go through life thinking about something else. Feel the chair against your back and the keys beneath your fingers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they’re asking you frolic barefoot through a summer meadow, like the movie version of a hippy. Just bring your mind back to what is happening now. After all they are just thoughts, nagging and irritating they maybe, but just thoughts. You can let them go.
…a whole life of lost moments is a whole life lost.