In a crisis, we’re likely to resist change and give in to fear of the unknown. Yet the ancient Buddhist practice of mindfulness, remaining fully aware of what you are experiencing in the present moment, is the key to bringing yourself out of suffering and back into happiness.
Mindfulness is a process of linking awareness with attention in order to develop, expand, and enhance both. It results in more focused and heightened concentration: You observe your thoughts and feelings rather than become immersed in them. You become aware that you have two selves, the self that’s having the experience and the self that is witnessing it and is separate from it.
First, you allow this witnessing self to emerge in your consciousness. Then, instead of thinking about, analyzing, and building upon a sensation or feeling, such a sense of panic or sadness, you simply observe it as it arises. Then you catalog it as “not worthy of further exploration” or “something to contemplate later to see what I can learn from it,” and let it drift out of your awareness.