Mindfulness as a means to Reduce Suffering

As someone with a stress-induced illness, it’s clear that our thoughts affect our health. It is possible to change the quality of our thoughts to reduce the stress. It is possible, but not easy and I’m not getting it right. I have suffered a set-back in my health lately due to stress. Worrying about how my actions will affect others; thinking about how people will react to me wanting to live my life fully; worrying about how my new path defines me and what people will say about it.


You can see from the statements above is that these are all thoughts and worries about the future. Focussing on the present and where I am today is a healthier and more productive pastime. I don’t enjoy it though because it’s hard to face the reality of the state of my health. I look at others achieving their goals, doing ultra-marathons, volunteering to help others, enjoying social events and I feel so despondent. For a person who has always been goal-focussed and achievement oriented, this state of recovery is so very frustrating. I’m not achieving anything. I’ve tried to apply goal setting and structure with my self-care roster so that I feel empowered. Having a goal to recover just feels lame and a short bout of stress has knocked my progress back weeks.

It is impossible to live a life without stress. How will I survive if I can’t accommodate any stress? I’m trying to turn my energies to things that I can do at home: reading, writing and my crochet projects. At times in the past week I’ve felt too tired to read. It’s so hard to remain upbeat and focussed on recovery at times like this. I’m really tired of being sick. I want to live life fully. I want to chase my dreams. But I feel so handicapped. And I’ve had to let go of goals from the past because I know my health will not support them.

I’m reading a great book on how to boost your resilience. In doing the quizzes in the book it is evident to me that I am already a resilient person. I always try to understand the lesson in difficult life circumstances. I’ve been wondering why I’ve been given this drive to achieve and this lesson to recover. Seems a little incongruent, Universe, can you please give me a clear message?

Maybe I’m still doing too much and I just need to learn to stay at home and just write. I’m probably not spending enough time practicing mindfulness as that seems to be the key to worrying less about the future or ruminating on the past and how I got to this poor state of health.


I’ve had my fair share of difficult experiences in life and I usually find some lessons in them.  I know that becoming sick has helped me change my path and that my life will be better ultimately. But to stay in the here and now when it’s so very limiting and frustrating, is really hard. I feel like I’m in a tiny room with no windows and I’m just trying to break out into the sunlight. Maybe this lesson is about not doing and just being. Grrr!

“In the ash of suffering, a phoenix can be born.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Follow me:

I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *