A Refuge In The Storm: Jewish Mindfulness Strategies Of Distress Tolerance

Life is full of challenges. ‘Things’ rarely go smoothly. There is always bound to be resistance and ‘hassle’. Authentic Judaism in fact, expresses reverence for the extra sweat and suffering that comes with the territory. Consider the words of a nameless widow celebrated by no less than the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Yochanan:

A widow resided near a neighborhood synagogue. Nevertheless, each day she would travel the great distance to pray in the study hall of Rabbi Yochanan. Baffled by her behavior, he asked her why she didn’t say her prayers in a local synagogue. Her explanation, ‘but then I would be denied the reward of the extra steps that I must take to reach your study hall’. This lead Rabbi Yochanan to declare in admiration the powerful lesson taught by this woman. (Talmud, Sotah, 22a).

So how can we keep our jour spirits buoyed when the hassles of life of one sort or another tries to drag us downwards? Chasidut teaches how the Mitzvot and good deeds can act as refuges from the tortures of guilt, regret, sadness, and despair. Jewish mindfulness offers distress tolerance strategies to further bridge the gap between these states and the bliss that is our birthright.

The strategies are:

Improving The Moment



Each of these strategies offers tricks and techniques that will break the trance of misery, giving you the peace that you need to restore faith and zest for the road forward.