I want to talk about mindfulness. My psychologist started to talk to me about mindfulness 2 years ago. We first discussed it when she was teaching me some exercises to help me fall asleep at night. You see, I suffer from insomnia, so more than 50% of the time I’m unable to fall asleep, and if I can fall asleep I don’t stay asleep long.
Mindfulness. I don’t recall hearing a lot about mindfulness in years past, but now if I do a search on self-help or anxiety or depression, mindfulness pops up frequently. I would like to share my favorite 2 with you.
The first uses your five senses. When you start to feel anxious whether it be when you’re trying to sleep or at work feeling stressed out. All you need is a moment to yourself.
Start with 5 fingers. Each finger stands for a sense. Look around you and identify five things that you can SEE. Right now I see a TV monitor, I see a bosu ball, I see a balloon from my grandson, I see my bowling bag, & I see my water bottle. Next we will go to the fourth finger and the next sense. What are four things that you hear? I hear my dogs playing, the belt of my treadmill, music in the background, & I hear my voice echoing when I speak into my phone. Three fingers and three things to feel. I feel my phone case is smooth. I feel my leggings are soft. I feel my neck is wet from sweating. Two fingers means two things I smell. I smell supper cooking and I smell my scentsy mochadoodle. The last sense and one finger remaining is taste. I take a drink of my water and it tastes refreshing. Right now I’m doing this talking into my phone while I’m walking. I generally do this while I’m sitting or standing still, not exercising, however I just want to give you an example of how it works and this is my present location.
My favorite but toughest mindfulness exercises that I will share with you is when I’m anxious around people. A good example might be when I’m at the grocery store and a person walks by me and gives me a crabby look. Normally I will immediately think they must dislike something about me. I get anxious about this so I need to stop for a moment and think. Logically, why would that person mean mug me? They do not know me and I was not in their way as they walked right past. I realized if they did mean mug me, it’s not because of anything that I did. In reality everyone has bad days and when we have a bad day we have a crabby look on our face. Therefore it’s logical it say they were probably in a bad mood, maybe just a bad day and I happened to be there at that moment having NOTHING to do with me. On a humorous side note, there is always the possibility that this is a person who has what I call resting bitch face. Lol (meaning they just look pissed off all of the time). So actually I need not get anxious about the mean look from the stranger passing by.
Mindfulness to me means that I need to center myself. I need to be mindful of my surroundings and mindful of my inner self, my need to stay calm, my need to relax. There are times, I admit, that I am unable to apply these. Perhaps because my anxiety is so high I’m unable to focus, or maybe I’m simply having a bad day and I’m crabby and I dont want to be mindful. And sadly sometimes there may be days my depression is so bad that I’m unable to center myself. I tell you this because if you find yourself in that same situation, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that there are more of us out here. There are more of us that feel like we are missing something, or we feel lost, and we may not even have any idea why. I tell you this because maybe you are not a person who needs these exercises. Maybe there is someone in your life suffering from anxiety or depression and maybe you can help them. And if you can’t or don’t want to help them, then I share this with you so that you know some days it’s hard work for some people just to put a smile on their face. Some days it’s hard work to stay calm. No, I haven’t always been this way. But we’ve already had that discussion.
This is here. This is now. This is how it is. This is my new reality. Do not judge me harshly. Do not judge yourself harshly, Do not judge others harshly. Our emotions and our mental being are no joke. Love yourself. And if today you don’t have the strength to love yourself then reach out to someone that has the strength to love you for you because you are worth it.
#helpme #thestruggleisreal #sticktogether #helpeachother #loveyourself #