I’ve been feeling a sense of overwhelm or crisis for months now. Having taken the time recently to review my past few months, it’s instantly apparent “that a lot has happened’” both in my own life and the world at large.
In my own life, I quit my job, moved back to my hometown, and lost my last grandparent. Each of these has and continues to be tough to navigate around. Beyond me, the world around me has also seen a series of horrible socio-economic developments, the COVID-19 virus being the most recent manifestation.
Needless to say, one might find themselves worrying through such times. It is only natural. In mindfulness or any path of self-discovery, worrying is often seen as futile. It is true, that mindless worrying is futile. Critical thinking, on the other hand, can be very helpful. Unlike worrying, critical thinking at its essence aspires to transform the root cause of worry, using a structured and strategic approach.
In my own experience, there is a very thin line between the two. One thing that helps, is to observe our thinking and notice if it is getting repetitive and negative (characteristics of worry) vs constructive and positive (characteristics of critical thinking).
I believe that our brain, when used correctly can be a great tool for a mindfulness practitioner. After all, it is ‘mindfulness’ and not ‘mindlessness’.