You are not your thoughts

Back at the end of August, I visited the Yorkshire Dales to see a relative, enjoy a walk and have a yummy pub lunch. The hills and views were breathtakingly beautiful. However, as is the case for late summer in the UK, the weather was changeable. One minute it was dull and overcast, then it rained and following this there was brilliant sunshine.


I’ve recently heard a saying, that I think provides comfort when you’re in the grip of increased anxiety, a low mood or bad feelings. It is simply ‘You are the blue sky, your feelings are the weather.’ Being a human entails experiencing a range of emotions, it’s impossible to feel the same way forever. I’m also reminded of another legendary phrase, ‘This too shall pass.’ Which perfectly sums up the impermanence of our worries today, also providing you with a soothing mantra to ease you through the day.


Both sayings are handy when grappling with unwanted and sometimes highly disruptive emotions, such as anxiety. You see, you are NOT and you NEVER will be your thoughts or your feelings. They are just temporary elements of your being, and they don’t define you.


Buddhism teaches it’s followers to be neutral observers of their thoughts and feelings. This allows them to avoid placing high importance or critical judgement on how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking in any given moment. This is the same for both joy and sadness.

Becoming the observer is one way to disentangle yourself from anxious thinking. If you desist from attaching negative judgement and thoughts to anxious feelings, you can begin to free yourself from the anxiety trap. Just go about your business quietly, peacefully and gently and let those thoughts feelings come and go.


Stop attaching yourself to anxious thoughts, getting caught up in what they mean, how alarming they are or wanting them to cease. Instead, step out of your front door and see what happens! Through the next few days when you get a pang of anxiety about going somewhere or doing something, say to yourself ‘let’s see what happens.’ Try it now!

Geraldine McGrath is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Teacher and founder of Embracing Anxiety for Women. Check out the group of the same name on Facebook (join here) for further help, support and empowerment.