So, this year my mantra is mindfulness.
I'm sure you have heard of it. It's like being in the moment. It's like smelling the roses. It's like enjoying the present. Who hasn't heard of it? Then why are a lot of us running around, stressed, depressed, anxious, and unhappy a lot of the time? Be honest. You know who you are....this dark figure looms in our mind and swoops down, taking hold of our breath, our hearts, and our souls. For a moment we don't know where to go, what to do and we are so confused. If you have never felt that way, then I'm sure you know someone who has. It's a scary thing. It's annoying and very debilitating. So, trust me when I say, THERE IS A WAY TO GET BETTER. To get rid of those negative thoughts, or at least, to not let them get to you. Deep breath. Sigh.
They are mad at you!
You are worthless.
I'm not sure how you got that job....you didn't deserve it.
He might drown if he goes to the beach with you.
You are going to die.
Yes, some of those thoughts are facts. I am fat. I am overweight by a lot. I know that. And the last one is certainly true as well. We are all going to die. But why this overload, fluid processing of negativity? We all receive negative messages in our head, but we don't all embrace them and believe every single one of them, except some of us, when we are in a weakened state.
Yes, I was weak. Tired from working all day, getting up at the crack of dawn (and I'm not a morning person), dealing with stressors that are normal to teaching, counseling, and marriage....My exercise program was nonexistent and I ate on the run, mainly from fast food and inexpensive restaurants, sabotaging my every desire to lose weight. Enter negativity itself. It gripped my soul and actually made me woozy.
But I've been studying mindfulness and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) for quite some time now and started using the following thought process to dilute the vindictiveness of the negativity I was experiencing.
- Acknowledge the negative thoughts. Yes, I am thinking.
- Tell yourself they are just thoughts. You do not have to react to them.
- Counter them with some positive thoughts.
- Deep breaths.
Redirect your energy. Sometimes I take a walk on the treadmill downstairs that seldom sees any use. Other times I drink a glass of water and listen to Pandora. ... whatever works for you.
And then I find I am almost back to normal. After quite a few rotations and positive self-talk, I find myself divorced from those negative and harmful thoughts. They do not rule me. I am not reacting to them. Sigh.
Take a moment to practice self-care in your life. Love yourself. Do something that YOU enjoy. And love yourself for doing it. Namaste!