Two years ago, I was struggling with the painful loss of my father, the abrupt end of a relationship and overall ennui. As you get to know me, you will see that I am a woman of action. I do not like to wallow in self pity without doing absolutely everything to fix the situation. I can become frustrated with lack of clear and immediate results. I was driven to break my misery and heal. This is when I discovered the art of Mindfulness. I participated in 2-3 days a week support groups learning the skills and practice of CBT/DBT Mindfulness. Here are a couple of simple skills.
We all feel uncomfortable from time to time. Some of us feel it more strongly than we’d like. Do you find yourself turning to food, drink, sleep, or other less than healthy coping strategies? I encourage you to try sitting in the uncomfort for a brief period of time. Let it sink in. Honor it. Accept it-then move on. Here is a visualization exercise that is popular with those who practice mindfulness.
Picture yourself in a field staring up at the blue sky. The sun is warm beating down gently on your face. Clouds are floating slowly through the sky. Your fears, challenges and anxieties are written out in black font on the cloud directly above you. Watch that cloud as it floats through the sky and watch as it fades as the cloud slowly dissipates toward the horizon. Take a deep breath. Exhale.
Notice: Take a Mindful Walk
Do you have 5 minutes to spare? Of course you do. You may say you don’t, but come on, you do. Grab your sneakers and head outside. No phone, no air pods, no distractions. Just walk. Walk slowly. Notice the sounds around you, the birds chirping, the airplanes flying in the distance, the chatter of cars and slamming of car doors and bickering of neighbors. Just notice them. Say to yourself in your mind, “I notice the bird singing to it’s mate. I notice the crow crowing. I hear the car door slam.” Do not judge the bird, the crow, the car door. Just notice. Take a deep breath. Exhale.
Link to The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Stress Reduction: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Manage Stress, Build Resilience, and Create … You Want (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
Note: please consult with a health care provider if you are experiencing severe symptoms of unrest.
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