Recently, a friend posted a photo she had taken of a thunderstorm over the city where she lives. She had taken this photo from a boat, and while the thunderstorm was in plain view, she was not actually in it. I thought the photo was interesting, and it also got me thinking… (real) thunderstorms look (and feel) differently depending on if we are in them or if we are observing them from a distance. When we are in them, we can feel the rain and see/hear the lightning and thunder. When we are at a distance, we are aware of the storm but don’t experience it in the same way.
The same thing is true when we think about mental thunderstorms. Often we have our own thunderstorms going on in our mind. When we're in the middle of it all, we get drenched by the downpour of emotions and have to deal with the sparks, flashes, and booms of our thoughts and judgments. It’s like being in an actual thunderstorm, but our emotions, thoughts, and judgments are the rain, lightening, and thunder. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if, like my friend, we got into a boat and decided to observe the thunderstorm from a distance? This is the process of what happens when we take a moment to breathe mindfully, unhook from our thoughts and emotions, and simply observe what’s happening for us. It’s like we have boarded a metaphorical mindfulness boat and have made the decision to simply observe the thunderstorm from afar rather than be in it. We are aware of our thoughts, judgments, and emotions, but we are not affected by them in the same way. We can think more clearly and calmly even though all of those thoughts, judgments, and emotions are still there. So, my challenge to you is to throw down your umbrellas, unhook from that thunderstorm of thoughts and emotions, and instead board your own mindfulness boat.
Written by Jondell Lafont, LPC-Intern
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Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.