If you’ve ever been deeply unhappy with your life for any length of time, you know how difficult it can be to do anything about it. No matter how hard you may try, things just don’t get better—or not for long. You feel stressed out, exhausted with the effort of just keeping going. Life has lost its color, and you don’t seem to know how to get it back.
Gradually you may come to believe that there must be something wrong with you, that fundamentally you are just not good enough.
This sense of inner emptiness might come from an accumulation of stresses over a long period of time or from one or two traumatic events that unexpectedly dillocate your life. It might even just arise out of the blue without any apparent cause.
You might find yourself lost in inconsolable sorrow; feeling profoundly empty; or painfully disappointed with yourself, with other people, or with the world in general.
If these feelings escalate, they may become severe enough to be called clinical depression. But the sort of unhappiness we are speaking of here touches all of us from time to time.
For any of us who find ourselves with low mood of any magnitude or duration - whether it’s major depression; persistent, nagging unhappiness; or intermittent periods of the blues that feel disruptive or disabling - the despair and demoralization, the sheer joylessness typical of depression, are never very far away.
When things get overwhelming, we may distract ourselves for a while, but questions keep nagging at the back of the mind: “Why can’t I pull myself out of this?” “What if it stays this way forever?” “What’s wrong with me?"
What if, despite what your thoughts may try to tell you, there is nothing wrong with you at all?
What if your heroic efforts to prevent your feelings from getting the best of you are actually backfiring?
What if they are the very things that are keeping you stuck in suffering or even making things worse?
Maybe Mindfulness is the answer to your prayers?