January 8, 2023


Looking for a reason
to explain our troubles

We often end up spending lots of time and emotional effort looking for the reason we don’t feel well. Somehow, we use the past to justify how we feel now. We think that once we know its origin, we can fix what went wrong. However, there is no going back in time to change our present reality. The truth is, you feel what you feel, whether or not you have a good reason for it. What happened, happened, and what is, is – and we cannot really argue with that reality. For sure, it can be valuable to understand the cause of our lack of well-being. Yet, in order to get better we need to be brave and dare to be with our discomfort. It is only from the here-and-now that we can find a way to move forward.

What happens when we are
looking for a reason why

When we look for a reason why, we end up fighting our reality. One of the main things that happens when we are sick is that we always feel it takes too long. We convince ourselves we will feel like this forever and always. We are sure we should have gotten better much more quickly. Ironically, it is this way of thinking that gets us stuck. We obsess about what was, or get scared about what will be. All of this prevents us being present with ourselves. But to really get healthy again, you need to take steps from the here-and-now. And sometimes, that moment is not pleasant. That’s just the way it is.

Here is the reason why (ha ha!)

There is a reason we tend to ruminate and try to predict the future like this. When we keep ourselves busy thinking about the past and projecting onto the future, our brains give us a way out of this unpleasant feeling. What happens to us now seems too painful to experience. Instead, we would rather keep ourselves busy thinking about things that happened which we cannot change anyway, or make plans about the future which is not here yet. Thus, a beautiful formula to distract you from the pain of a difficult experience.

Drawing of road sign with future, present and past
When we learn to be with what is, we can actually take our next step

Three tips to help yourself to be with what is – instead of being stuck


Acknowledge to yourself that this difficult experience is really happening to you. Then, tell yourself you can be with it, now. Acknowledge and recognize that this is only a moment in time and it will pass. After this experience, other things will happen.


Train your brain to notice the things that happen in your body without judging them. Seems like a tall order, right? It really is a matter of building our vocabulary and teaching our brain to translate what we sense.


One of the best ways to calm ourselves down is to name our emotions, just as is. For example, we may first say: “I am sad and worried that my migraines will debilitate me for life.” So now, we learn to name what we feel without giving a reason for it. We say we feel worried. We say we are sad.