mind over ice cream

I don’t know if I am on the same page as my therapist. Yesterday was an awkward appointment. I had very little to say and didn’t want to be there, and he seemed like he was stumped, trying to find something to talk about. Neither one of us seemed prepared. Granted, I’m the one asking for help, so I guess I should be the one with questions. I would have been fine if he had let me go home early.

After flailing for a few minutes, he started talking about mindfulness as a tool for reducing anxiety. He described what mindfulness is, and I was having trouble concentrating … as he’s telling me how to concentrate on acknowledging distractions then coming back to the moment. My brain was tired but bouncing all day yesterday, so it was a particularly poor time to have to listen to someone talk.

I have to admit I don’t get the mindfulness thing. I thought it was more about doing something to distract you from everything in your brain, allowing you to have a little reset. I know how to be totally present in the moment, like while listening to my favorite music for the 100th time, or when being by myself in the woods, or reclining with a purring cat. But either I get distracted by something or someone, the moment is gone, and I start thinking about all the things I took a break from.

I asked him if mindfulness was blocking everything out and just clearing your mind for a few minutes, and apparently that was incorrect, because he was trying to convince me that something like eating ice cream or the act of standing up can be the object of a mindfulness exercise. (Really? Does pooping count?) I asked him what did that solve, and I never really got an answer. He said he wrote a dissertation about the subject, so I decided not to tell him I didn’t get the point.

Then he started talking about Buddhists and India, and honestly he lost me at that point. Nothing against Buddhism, but I just need something I can understand. However he did refer me to a book on mindfulness for anxiety, so I’ll get that from the library and see what I think. He also told me about some guy’s videos, but I told him I can barely sit through an episode of a TV show on Netflix. My brain moves way too fast to listen to some dude drone on for an hour about how to enjoy ice cream.

I don’t know if mindfulness exercises are going to work for me, but I guess I will give it a good faith effort to see if I can get something useful out of this. If anyone has any tips or references for helping me understand this, I’m willing to listen. Comment or email me if you have something that might help.

7 thoughts on “mind over ice cream

  1. Meghan July 10, 2021 / 5:00 pm

    Every time someone tries to tell me about mindfullness I feel like I need to call bullshit. Anything they’ve ever suggested seems to be something I absolutely will not be able to do when I would need to do it. I’m interested to see if you come up with something that’s workable. Good luck.

    • fishrobber July 11, 2021 / 11:48 am

      I think my problems are both chemical and psychological, in equal amounts, and I think it will be easier to solve the psychological issues when the chemical issues are a little better. Right now I don’t think I can successfully do mindfulness techniques when my brain is so active I can’t keep from distracting myself. It may be worthwhile to others, but I don’t have a lot of faith that it can work for me.

      • Meghan July 11, 2021 / 5:16 pm

        My thoughts exactly.

      • fishrobber July 18, 2021 / 7:31 am

        I think your blog is offline. It has been a whole day and it won’t load.

      • Meghan July 18, 2021 / 7:52 am

        Yikes. I’ll check it out tonight wen I get home. Thanks!

      • Meghan July 18, 2021 / 8:29 pm

        Apparently I typed in a goofy email address in my settings page and an email WordPress sent didn’t go through. Odd, because I get all kinds of emails from WordPress. I think I fixed it, but apparently my site is still down. I’m going to have to look at it tomorrow in more depth. Ugh.

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