Caught up in your own thoughts? - 4 ways to have a more mindful life.
When I look objectively at my working day it’s something like this: I wake up, I have breakfast, I drive to work, I sit at my computer and I drive home. It’s pretty dull, seen that way. So, why is that in my mind it’s like James Bond? It’s just a great big drama in here! If we had to describe what we do, you know that caught-up-in-my-drama thing that whirls around our minds, Velcroing us to the past or future with rumination or worry, we might call it thoughting (we might not have an actual word). Mindfulness teaches us that thoughts have a kind of threefold nature, they come, they make a show of themselves and they go. It’s what we do in that middle bit that matters most, that’s where the thought becomes thinking, or thoughting and a drama ensues. Here are four practices you can do to lower the impact of your thoughting. 1. Remind yourself that thoughts come and go, and that what you are doing is thoughting, getting caught up in (often) involuntary thoughts that we Velcro to. This gives us the opportunity to create a separation between us and that flood of information that we call our thoughts. 2. Recognise your self-critic. We are hardwired through thousands of years of evolutionary history to have a self-critic that keeps us in check or “better safe than sorry” which in turn feeds our dramas; at the extreme, this can lead us to feel threat saturated. Give your self-critic some time off by practicing messages of self-care and self-compassion; accept yourself just s you are 3. Shift your attention to your body, practice walking a short meditation; your thoughts will come more to rest the more you focus on bodily sensations 4. Notice the good things and feel gratitude for them. Whatever the New Year brings, it will bring a mixture of good, bad, happy and sad; taking time to appreciate the good lowers anxious thoughts and promotes a more grounded you