Tag Archives: choice

Practicing Mindfulness

Standard

Something I’ve found very helpful to combat anxiety and negativity is a concept called mindfulness.   Mindfulness is acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, and then doing something to help process the emotion, thought or feeling.

I use this in several ways.  If I’m feeling resentful towards someone, I take a minute and try to figure out why this is, and then I try to change my attitude.  I read somewhere that resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  I’ve found this to be true.  Resentment is not compatible with good mental health.

I also use this when I have an anxiety attack.   My anxiety attacks always have some sort of physical aspect, so I try to accept these physical symptoms (struggle to breathe, dizziness, coughing, whatever) and then remind myself  that 99.9% of the time they will go away if I stop panicking.   After I’m calm, I then try to determine what exactly caused the anxiety.  For example, traveling triggers anxiety in me because following my daily schedule makes me feel safe.   It is also a trigger for me because I feel as if I have to be on my best behavior because I’m seeing people I only see once or twice a year.   To combat this stressful thought pattern, I create a little mantra.  For example, something like, people’s opinions don’t define me, or changes of plan aren’t dangerous.

This concept has truly changed my life.   Mindfulness keeps my anxiety from becoming debilitating and it also helps me not dwell on negative feelings.    I have a choice about which thoughts to invite in and which ones to shut out.

Feelings Lie. Don’t follow them.

Standard

Image result for feelings clip art

Emotions are a part of every day.  Many different feelings can go through one’s mind: happiness, anger, fear, worry, angst, disgust, sadness, etc.  They can feel overpowering. They can cause restlessness. You may feel such worry about making a decision that you can’t even eat. Or, it takes so much energy to go through your daily tasks because of the thick sadness that you feel.  It’s easy to lose perspective.  It seems as if you always have, and always will feel the way you do at that moment. But this is not accurate, because, in reality, everything we feel is temporary, whether it’s good or bad.

 

You can’t control your feelings, but you can control your reaction to them.

 

My brain only has so much space and energy, so I have to decide which emotions deserve my attention and which ones don’t.  I’m not saying this is easy.  I’m hypersensitive and I feel everything very strongly, so this doesn’t come naturally to me at all.

Sometimes, I have these mysterious bouts where I struggle to do anything that I wish to do.  I aggravate myself.  I’ll pick up my hobbies and they make me angry instead of relaxed.  Or I’ll try to read a book and it makes no sense. I don’t know why this happens, but it does. When I feel like this, I try to take my focus away from myself, and look at others and do something kind. It restores some of my self-esteem and helps someone I care about.  It’s a win-win.

I can make choices that will affect how I feel.

When I’m feeling sad, I can choose to aggravate it by listening to depressive music or I can choose to help my little sister with something.

Now, I’m not suggesting shoving your feelings down and never dealing with them.  That is unhealthy in it’s own way.  What I’m saying is that you should be the one in control of your feelings, not the other way around.

Regulating your emotions is a life-skill.  It’s a struggle and a process that is built slowly from experience.  It takes practice to learn how to manage what you’re feeling.   Some days I struggle and can’t get my emotions under control.  Other days are dark and long.  Some days, it’s easier.  It’s all part of the process. This is life for me.  I have to roll with this without becoming angry, anxious or despairing.

 

I can choose to let the flames die…or to feed them.

The choice really is mine.

And it’s your choice too.