Have you ever had a thought come through your mind that completely catches you off guard and for a split second you think to yourself, “Is this normal?”, “Am I crazy?” or “Do other people think this way?” Occasionally when I am in the car, I think, “What if I were to get in a car accident right now?”
Before practicing defusion and acceptance skills, my hands would get sweaty, my heart would start racing, and my mind would start running through all the possible scenarios of how a car accident could happen. After learning about defusion and acceptance, and regularly practicing during yoga, I am better able to accept and acknowledge a thought instead of struggling with it. During the process, it becomes smaller and doesn’t feel as daunting.
As a bonus, when I distance myself from a thought that is not useful, I become free to focus more on the present. For me, that means carefully listening to the music I have on or enjoying a few moments of quiet time as I feel the chill from my air conditioner. You may not relate to my driving example. But you can probably relate to having a thought that pulls you away from whatever it was you were doing and may cause your body and mind to react negatively. Acceptance and defusion allow me to create some space when my current thoughts and inner experiences are not serving me.
I think of practicing my defusion and acceptance skills just as I think about training my body during a yoga class. I can improve my muscles and postures with focus and repetition, and I can improve my defusion and acceptance skills in the same way. There are countless ways we can practice mental skills throughout our days, from when our spouse leaves dishes in the sink to when someone expresses a different opinion or belief than ours. When and where can you work out your mental muscles today?
If unpleasant thoughts and uncomfortable feelings are interfering with your life, you too can learn to defuse and accept. It just takes practice.
I can’t wait to see you all in my next yoga class when we open back up at Sync!