When you are trying to work on your relationship with yourself or others, mindfulness is so important.
Mindfulness allows you to be thoughtful and present.
It keeps you from ping-ponging between the past and the future.
So what is it that you want to see happen in your life?
It’s pretty popular for people to look at starting something at the beginning of a new year, new month, or new week.
I used to be like that too. Everything needed to be perfect.
Perfect does not exist.
I urge you to step back. There is no better time than the present.
The longer you wait to start, the longer you will have to wait to see results.
It’s as simple as that.
So what do you want to see happen?
Are you trying to feel better? Are you trying to develop a better self-image? Are you trying to lose weight?
We have to feel good about things in order to prevent frustration and overwhelm. I have talked with so many people who let those types of feelings steal their joy and prevent them from being successful.
If you’re going to start being mindful, you need to start paying attention on purpose. Be present and observe your experiences in a nonjudgmental way.
Work on developing a sense of being instead of a sense of doing.
There are two types of events that provoke negative feelings; those that are internal, and those that are external.
Internal events include comparing yourself to others, shame, stress, or feelings like bloating and fatigue.
External events include trying on clothes, looking in the mirror or even visiting the doctor.
These different experiences will cause feelings that you want to numb or fix. Learning to respond to them instead of reacting to them can change what you feel and the outcome that results.
Step 1 is to start noticing your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You need to build space between your experience and your response. Be aware of how you speak to yourself.
Step 2 is to shift your attention. You may have patterns of judgment and shame that you feel. Breaking these patterns by shifting your attention will allow you to help change your actions and reactions. Focus on forgiving yourself and think about how you actually want to feel. The more your practice this, the easier it will become.
Step 3 is to use curiosity. Pay attention to what you are feeling and ask yourself these questions:
- Where are these feelings coming from?
- Why do you think you’re feeling this way?
- What could have happened to cause these feelings?
- What do I need to do to feel better?
Try to develop a better understanding of these beliefs and why they are happening.
Step 4 is to respond. Some people react by disconnecting and pushing away, while others will attach to the feelings and spiral into negative feelings. When you are responding, use self-compassion. Change your self-talk to as if you are talking with a friend and trying to help them.
Practice these steps often and they will become easier.
You are working on changing the patterns in your brain and how you think.
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