I had a recent conversation that brought into focus how important it is for someone who overthinks to get out of their head, and allow whatever feeling or sensation that occurs to arise and to just feel it. Don’t analyse it, don’t name it, don’t judge it – just feel it.
The very act of focusing in on the thought to try and ‘figure it out’ tends to perpetuate the suffering that’s being felt. What is being ‘felt’ is literally a feeling or energetic sensation arising within you that is being interpreted by the mind. An interpretation that is being fed through layers of concepts, thoughts and memories, etc. Finally we arrive at a nice tidy package of judgement that makes it seem like it’s a big-ole ‘some-thing’ that needs to be acted on in-order for relief. By making that thought into a ‘thing’ you’re creating a false sense of separation between ‘it’ and ‘you’; in reality this is just arising as you and within you – it’s not separate to you. It’s just part of the natural and spontaneous arisings of the human expression of life.
Let’s take for example the thought ‘I’m anxious about the presentation I have to do’. Instead of acknowledging and experiencing the uncomfortable feeling that is arising, the tendency is to look to the mind to figure out what was the best way to alleviate the feeling. Now this is a red herring, instead of solving the perceived ‘problem’ (in this case the anxiety) it actually distracts the attention, and avoids feeling what is arising in the present moment.
Feel all the feelings that are arising, don’t avoid them, or prolong them, push them away, or try to keep them here. Good, bad, happy, sad – all of them – don’t label them, figure them out, fix them. Just feel them. Let them pass. Notice that they come and go easily, they pass as easily as the clouds that pass in the sky. Be present to them. This is being present, being free. Allow what is happening to simply happen without trying to control or change it. If you look closely enough you can see that control isn’t possible anyway, and the thought that it is is just momentarily comforting. There is such freedom in allowing all that is arising to freely arise without resistance.