How Puddles Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

One morning, as I walked to catch the bus, I noticed it was a beautiful day. I felt the brisk wind against my face, listened to the birds in the background and noticed a multicolor wave in the puddles. I wondered to myself, how can I make sure this day stays beautiful despite my anxiety? This is what mindfulness has been to me.

It doesn’t have to be complex. Sometimes mindfulness can be as simple as taking a moment to just listen or smell a candle, just focusing on what is. On days when I am struggling, mindfulness can help me step out for a moment and gain perspective. It reminds me that, in this point of time, whatever concerns I have are only a very small part of all that is going on in the world. It doesn’t change my situation, but sometimes that clarity is what I need to get through for that day.

Mindfulness at times has also been somewhat physical to me, especially when I can combine a physical activity with being outside. In walking in the woods, rowing a boat or even just a quick sprint, I can disappear in the rhythms around me — both the ones I am creating through my motions and also all that is going on.

In a sense, it is a way to escape, but when I return I feel more aware and better able to tackle the day.

Those avid in practicing meditation believe it is our expectations that can lead to anxieties, sadness and disappointment. In looking for one thing it is easy to miss all else. Sometimes it is possible to get so caught up in the rain that we miss the rainbow. Mindfulness is a way to let go of those expectations and appreciate the beauty of what is beyond what we think should be. It frees the mind to not only see the rainbow, but the sun gleaming through the rain, the leaves dancing in the wind, the music the rain creates and the reflections in the puddles.  It is being here, with this anxiety or whatever else may be, and freeing ourselves to coexist along with it.

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Thinkstock photo via I_rinka

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