Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
In a Jon Kabat-Zinn talk he says “worrying is like driving a car with the brakes on”.
This statement has sort of stuck in my head of late. There is, for me, a most fundamental truth there.
Worrying about what has already happened. Worrying about what might happen. Either way it takes the focus from the present moment.
Actually I am not so sure “worry” is the right word regarding thinking about the past. It seems worry is more about the unknown – worrying about what might or what could happen. Perhaps I need a better word for thinking about what is past. Like maybe “dwelling” on the past or perhaps “ruminating”.
Having said that – another trap that is easy to fall into is thinking about what has happened in the past and then imagining alternative scenarios – like “If only THIS had happened….” Or “If only I had made a different decision than the one I did….” – but even there I don’t suppose that is what I would call worry.
Perhaps the semantics are not so important. Although I titled this “worry” and the thought initially stemmed from the idea of “worry” and what that means, I guess the bottom line for me is that I am thinking about anything which takes me away from being present in the moment, whether it be worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
Many people will suggest that meditation is a great way to negate these things - to bring yourself back to the moment. And I agree it is. However - there are very many forms of meditation, and many are far from sitting cross legged in silence in a cave (or whatever cliche'd concept one might surmise). What works well for one individual (as a meditation method) will not necessarily work well for another.
I have yet to find the best meditative method for myself.