Today’s #mentalhealthmondays is a hard one for me to write….because it’s something that I REALLY struggle with.
I have a marvelous habit of completely ignoring my emotions, going into robot mode, focusing on the task at hand, and then waking up in the middle of the night with a massive migraine/stomach ache/etc.
This year I started a new job….and it’s been tremendously stressful for me. Not at all because the job itself is stressful, but because my mind is filled with doubt. I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job, that I’m not being as smart as I need to be, and all kinds of thoughts that…have no…factual basis or proof.
So I’ve been talking a lot about my stress, my insecurities, my fears – rational or not – and trying to find out ways to help myself.
The word that keeps popping up is MINDFULNESS.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Pace of life these days, technologies, “multitasking”, and our smart phone attached to our re-attached umbilical card….we are great avoiders. We are great at NON feeling what goes on, ignoring our self-talk, ignoring how we are feeling about something and it….manifests.
It’s a huge contributor of stress, anxiety, and panic attacks.
I go through my day, ignoring my stress, my worry, my insecurity…. Some days I’m so anxious that I have physical sensations – my chest is tight, my arms tingle….I’m not having a panic attack, my brain has told me I’m anxious and I ignore it, and it shows up elsewhere.
I know I’m not the only one….
So along with the word “mindfulness” comes a three step process…
You need a quiet space (your desk, your car, your bedroom) and begin by
Observe your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations.
Example: I am feeling tightness in my chest, I feel sad, I am angry, I am worried
Put your thoughts, feelings, and sensations into words- in a complete NON JUDGMENTAL WAY.
- The tightness feels like I have swallowed a pill and it got stuck in my chest.
- I feel my anger deep inside my stomach
and so forth.
This means – although you are observing, and describing…you still participate in your every day life activities. You go back and continue your day at work, but maybe checking in here or there to see how you are feeling and repeat steps 1 and 2 again.
If this all sounds wack…it’s not. The more in tune you are with your body and mind, the easier you will find it to deal with emotions in times of stress. Or just stress itself…
Here’s one article that’s more…”official” in describing the Observe, Describe, Participate.
and here’s my favorite article for the week, The Importance of Mindfulness in the Workplace .
Let me know if you’ve joined the mindfulness movement….and if so, what changes have you noticed? I’m fighting hard to make this a habit…but it’s tough.
Yours in best health,