I was recently walking with my daughter and she was recounting a situation at school where a classmate was trying to rile her up but she ignored him and the teacher swiftly intervened. She told me “Even though I know it’s over, I still feel stressed just thinking about it!”
As a serial ruminator, I could empathize.
So I stopped in my tracks and told her that when we realize we’re looping in our minds, we can pause and see what is happening RIGHT NOW.
We start by focusing on our breathing, in and out, again and again. Then we use all our senses to pay attention to our bodies and surroundings in the moment.
We’re no longer imprisoned by the past when we walk right through the open door of the present, which is here, always. And we realize that we’re never really locked in and stuck in our heads, as our refreshing breaths snap us out of the daze of thought and revive us in the clarity of the here and now.
“You’re right, Mom… but he’s still annoying.”