How to stop mental suffering

In my last post, I wrote about how to let go of negativity by witnessing the negative emotion and practicing letting it go but there is more to say on the topic and a slight subtlety to the approach that I want to expound upon.

First, let me preface this post by noting that today I was experiencing more negativity than usual. My body ached in all the same places and I was tired, fed up, and feeling like giving up and giving in at moments. The negativity that I had inside of me was keeping me tangled up and I was desperate to find a way to find release.

Usually, I can approach this sort of thing through the practice of reframing my mind, doing some deep breathwork, or positive visualizations (all things I hope to talk more about on this blog). Then it struck: the realization that I was resisting something internally.

This is key.

When I’m internally resisting something – a thought or more often an emotion – I am fighting against it, wishing it wasn’t there, and in doing so, I am becoming engaged in an internal struggle.

This is counter-productive.

I took a moment to become still and listen/feel for the resistance inside me. Once I could feel its presence, I had the conscious thought that this isn’t serving me. In light of that and in service of nurturing positive feelings within myself, I actively allowed myself to relinquish the resistance.

I did this a few times (and continue to do so) but each time, a subtle lessening of the suffering occurs. Also, this letting go of resistance creates a clear gap (space) where something can emerge.

This is a really positive experience and, when things are going good, you hardly think about it. But when I’m suffering internally, I need to remember that the resistance isn’t serving me and, if I can locate it within, I can make the choice to let it go.

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