Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

Facts vs. Stories

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. And today I'm going to explore the difference between facts and stories, and talk about why it's important for us to see the difference. So to begin with, let me give you a few examples of the difference between a fact and a story. Fact, she was late. Story, she was late because she's selfish and she doesn't really care about me.

Okay. Fact, I have $2 in my bank account. Not for me. I've got more than $2 in my bank account. Story, I'm poor.

I only have $2 in my bank account and I'll always struggle. I never have enough. Fact, it's raining. Story, it's horrible weather. What a dreadful day.

Fact, he didn't ask me on a second date. Story, he doesn't like me. No one ever does. I'm unattractive and I'll probably always be alone. Okay.

So according to dictionary.com, facts and stories are defined as follows: a fact, something that actually exists or existed, reality, truth; stories, a narrative about the facts, which can be either true or fictitious. So, if you were speaking about the facts, you would report only what happened very objectively with nothing added. A bit like a camera would have seen it. The camera doesn't have an opinion or an emotional reaction. It just sees the scene.

Our stories about the facts though, this is where it gets a little tricky, they can be colored by our particular beliefs, our opinions, our self images, our judgments, our desires, and so on. In our stories, we often make interpretations and meanings out of the facts and that can distort our own ability to see things clearly. In our stories, we often make assumptions and come to conclusions that are not accurate and can often be really unhelpful. Importantly, our stories have the ability to create a lot of emotional turmoil and suffering, and that's why it's really important every now and then to pause when we're anxious, when we're stressed, when we're feeling reactive or overwhelmed to see what kind of stories we're telling ourselves. Once we can see the stories, if they're unhelpful, we can let them go.

How do we let them go? We let a story go by simply seeing that it's just a story and not a fact. It's only when we buy into the stories that they create suffering. So for instance, so you just told yourself the story that it's a horrible day, it's horrible weather. And you start to feel that emotional reaction in your body, that negativity and grumpiness coming in. Then you can inquire and see, okay, I'm telling myself a story that it's a horrible day, but it's not the reality.

It's just a story. And then you can let go and come back to the fact of the moment. And the fact of the moment in that case is it's simply raining. Now we're free to just enjoy the sound of the rain and the coolness of the air with no negativity. So here's my invitation.

The next time you do feel yourself feeling a bit reactive or negative emotions are arising, just pause, take a breath and check in to see what story you're telling yourself. And if it's unhelpful for you, just try mentally noting to yourself, just a story, and then bring your full attention back to the present moment. In that way you unhook from unhelpful stories and find more calm, ease, and clarity in everyday life. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Facts vs. Stories

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. And today I'm going to explore the difference between facts and stories, and talk about why it's important for us to see the difference. So to begin with, let me give you a few examples of the difference between a fact and a story. Fact, she was late. Story, she was late because she's selfish and she doesn't really care about me.

Okay. Fact, I have $2 in my bank account. Not for me. I've got more than $2 in my bank account. Story, I'm poor.

I only have $2 in my bank account and I'll always struggle. I never have enough. Fact, it's raining. Story, it's horrible weather. What a dreadful day.

Fact, he didn't ask me on a second date. Story, he doesn't like me. No one ever does. I'm unattractive and I'll probably always be alone. Okay.

So according to dictionary.com, facts and stories are defined as follows: a fact, something that actually exists or existed, reality, truth; stories, a narrative about the facts, which can be either true or fictitious. So, if you were speaking about the facts, you would report only what happened very objectively with nothing added. A bit like a camera would have seen it. The camera doesn't have an opinion or an emotional reaction. It just sees the scene.

Our stories about the facts though, this is where it gets a little tricky, they can be colored by our particular beliefs, our opinions, our self images, our judgments, our desires, and so on. In our stories, we often make interpretations and meanings out of the facts and that can distort our own ability to see things clearly. In our stories, we often make assumptions and come to conclusions that are not accurate and can often be really unhelpful. Importantly, our stories have the ability to create a lot of emotional turmoil and suffering, and that's why it's really important every now and then to pause when we're anxious, when we're stressed, when we're feeling reactive or overwhelmed to see what kind of stories we're telling ourselves. Once we can see the stories, if they're unhelpful, we can let them go.

How do we let them go? We let a story go by simply seeing that it's just a story and not a fact. It's only when we buy into the stories that they create suffering. So for instance, so you just told yourself the story that it's a horrible day, it's horrible weather. And you start to feel that emotional reaction in your body, that negativity and grumpiness coming in. Then you can inquire and see, okay, I'm telling myself a story that it's a horrible day, but it's not the reality.

It's just a story. And then you can let go and come back to the fact of the moment. And the fact of the moment in that case is it's simply raining. Now we're free to just enjoy the sound of the rain and the coolness of the air with no negativity. So here's my invitation.

The next time you do feel yourself feeling a bit reactive or negative emotions are arising, just pause, take a breath and check in to see what story you're telling yourself. And if it's unhelpful for you, just try mentally noting to yourself, just a story, and then bring your full attention back to the present moment. In that way you unhook from unhelpful stories and find more calm, ease, and clarity in everyday life. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds