Throughout my life, I’ve struggled in dealing with my own mind.
Although I feel fortunate to have not had any serious mental issues, my mind has certain tendencies that I have found very difficult to address.
There are many instances where my thinking just goes into overdrive. When I’m faced with a difficult decision to make or a stressful situation to face, my thoughts start racing to the point that I expend all my energy, leaving me burnt out and stressed. Even in normal, everyday situations like driving or doing the dishes, my mind takes every opportunity to drift off and daydream. And at a certain point I completely lose focus and find it almost impossible to bring my mind back.
My mental challenges have also affected my relationships with other people. I’m very introverted in nature, and very uncomfortable in large groups and unfamiliar settings. When I enter a room filled with new faces, my heart starts pounding and tension amplifies within. As I attempt to converse, I mumble and find it difficult to even construct basic sentences. I feel like my mind creates a barrier between me and others, and denies me the opportunity to create new friendships. It’s been one of my biggest challenges for a long time, and I often feel discouraged and ashamed of myself for it.
I’ve also always had low self-esteem, constantly comparing myself to other people and feeling insecure about my limitations. Especially in the South Asian community, I always feel like I need to prove myself to others, whether it be the aunties and uncles at family dinner parties or my friends and fellow students on campus. And I always feel ashamed of myself for not knowing or understanding something that may be simple or obvious to everyone else.
I wish my thoughts wouldn’t go out of control. I wish my mind didn’t get in the way of my relationships. I wish I could love and accept myself for who I am, and not be constantly concerned about what others think of me.
For the past few years, I’ve been doing some serious introspection into my mind and its tendencies. I’ve been practicing breathing and meditation everyday, and I listen to discourses on mental health from various wisdom teachers. I’ve realized the importance of living in the present moment, and the value in taking some time out of each day to close my eyes, be with myself and give my mind & thoughts a break.