allowing and letting be
Segal et al. (2002)
The past few modules hopefully have helped to show you how negative thoughts and feelings have a flow-on effect to your mood and to your use of alcohol/other drugs.
In the past, it is likely that you have tried to avoid these negative or unpleasant thoughts and feelings by pushing them away and burying them deep inside.
As you probably already know, this “pushing away” takes a lot of effort and energy. And it doesn’t always work — thoughts and feeling keep popping up regardless of how many times we try to push them away.
Up until now, your mindfulness training has focussed on making you more aware of how your mind wanders from one thought to another, and how this keeps you in your “automatic pilot”.
You have learned how to stop this from happening, by bringing your attention back to the present, either by paying attention to routine activities, such as walking, or by using your breath as a focus.
The next step is to now learn how to use these skills to actually focus on unpleasant thoughts and feelings. You will learn how to allow them to come, and to let them be — to accept they are there, without trying to push them away.
Without really trying to change them, to latch onto them and worry about them, you will now learn how to let them come, and then watch them leave.