Zia Hassan

Playing Tennis With My Brain

+++ title = “08” date = 2019 +++

Mindfulness, meditation, thought-naming… whatever you want to call it, is a little bit like playing tennis with your mind.

In a world without mindfulness (which I live in about 99% of the time), It’s as if my mind is constantly serving me tennis balls. I let the balls hit my body, and then I cry for a while over the pain. Being pelted with tennis balls for most of the week means being tired and worn out on the weekends. It means staying inside and watching Netflix instead of being out on the court.

But mindfulness and meditation shows me that there’s a racket sitting next to me on the court. And I can pick it up and swat those tennis balls right back to my opponent, the amygdala or lizard brain, that is constantly pelting me with hard rubber.

I don’t need to be aggressive either. If you’ve ever played tennis, you’ll know that it takes very little force to swat a ball back as long as you are holding the racket correctly. The ball kind of glides right off the racket and back across the net.

And that’s what mindfulness can be: enjoying the process of the gentle swatting of thoughts back over the net, over and over, with no end in sight.