Here in the city (and all over the country), anxiety about the financial crisis is palpable and omnipresent. Thousands of people, especially within the financial services industry, have been losing their jobs. Real estate construction and development have slowed or ceased, while home sales plummet. Retail businesses and restaurants have been doing poorly too as many of us cope with a decrease in income by reducing our spending.
How can mindfulness help?
Mindfulness can help by reducing our suffering in a very painful situation. The financial crisis has a negative effect on our home finances, savings, and fulfillment of some life dreams (at least temporarily). This is our current reality--and it hurts. Unfortunately, we often make this bad situation worse as we become mired in regret, fantasy, and worry. "If only I sold my stocks 1 year ago..." or "I'm never gonna get another job" are common reactions to the crisis. However, emotionally such thoughts make us feel worse. So here are a few mindfulness pointers:
Notice where your mind goes. Are you stuck in regret or blaming others? Are you catastrophizing about the future? Bring your attention back to rest on your breathing.