When confronted with a difficult experience, the untrained mind wants to be anywhere but in the present moment, where it perceives acute unpleasantness. The mind becomes anxious whenever it’s uncertain and reacts as if one’s survival is at stake. So rather than staying with the experience and determining the best possible way to relate to it, the mind jumps to creating a story that involves worrying about the future or judging oneself or others based on past experiences. This pattern of resistance to staying present in experience is an automatic response arising from the limbic brain as it detects threats. Ironically, the story imparts a false sense fo knowing what’s going on, and therefore can seem temporarily soothing.
Philipp Moffitt, Emotional Chaos to Clarity