Anxiety works its way into our entire being and settles in for the long haul. All types of anxiety disorders do this, as does “ordinary” anxiety, the experience of worry, doubt, fear, etc. that isn’t quite diagnosable as a disorder but is disturbing and bothersome nonetheless.
Anxiety affects us in many ways including the way we think that the thoughts we have. Anxiety is connected to experiences such as overthinking and ruminating. We chew on them repeatedly, the way a cow chews on grass in its original form and in cud form. The more we chew on, or think about, our worries, fears, stresses, and the like, the more we’re paying attention to them. And the more we pay attention to them, the harder they are to swallow. So, like a cow and other ruminants, we regurgitate and ruminate.
To stop being cows means we do something other than ruminate about our anxious thoughts. If we gently shift our attention and refocus, we begin to think, feel, and act differently. Mindfulness creates this shift within us. With mindfulness, we can become our human selves and move away from our bovine, ruminant nature. By placing our attention on the present moment rather than on the thoughts and emotions racing around in our head, we find that anxiety disappears, leaving peace in its place.
Learn more about the workbook that will teach you not to be a cow. It’s available soon, and you can preorder it now. Rumination is a common effect of anxiety. It involves overthinking almost everything. Cows ruminate when they chew their cud, but you aren’t a cow.