Friday 9 December 2022

Don't worry...

Don't worry is another of those useful pieces of advice: easier to say than to implement. 

But what struck me this week is the very different approaches to this suggested by Mindfulness, on the one hand, and Gestalt, on the other.

When practicing mindful meditation, as I understand it, one notices if a worry presents itself to one's mind, but then one simply releases it and allows it to float away.

Whereas in Gestalt, if a worry emerges as significant - a figure emerging from the ground, in Gestalt terms - then one holds it in attention, and engages with full contact and awareness of it, in order to reach some resolution. 

Yet, as opposed as these two approaches may appear, it seems to me that there is an underlying unity: that is, each is based on a conscious decision about how to use the mind.  And that, I think, is the opposite of worrying, which is often an involuntary process, that leaves us feeling devoid of agency.

So next time you find yourself worrying about something, instead of that somewhat sterile process of rumination that we sometimes indulge in, make a conscious choice: do I wish to engage with this seriously at this time or not?

If you do, then full attention is the way to go. If you do not, then deliberately releasing it (if necessary with a promise to your brain about when you will address it), might be the way forward.  At the very least, such a deliberate mental action is an exercise of agency, and therefore of power, and may mitigate any risk of feeling over-powered or disempowered by the worry.


With thanks to  Molnár Bálint for sharing this photo on Unsplash

No comments:

Post a Comment