We tend to have to our sufferings. That is, when we’re trying to escape an experience or an emotion unpleasant to us, we turn to balming ourselves or others, excessive drinking, getting angry, over-controlling things. We start to think that this particular unpleasant situation, or a failure, or a memory, is what defines us. The thing is, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.
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Let’s say you got distracted and left your laptop at home. As you’re about to start your work day at your workplace, you obviously notice the absence of the laptop. You assume it got stolen in that small cafe you stopped at to get your morning coffee. That’s it: you start blaming yourself. You’re air-headed, careless, you’re a mess, can’t control anything in your life. You’re already suffering by being anxious and stressed out about your missing laptop, so why escalate things and beat yourself up to a greater extent?
The best thing to do, here, would be to practice gentleness. Find below a couple of steps you can take to start!
#1. Pause, put your reaction on hold. Even if for a few minutes, maintain silence, step outside, scream into a pillow if you feel like it.
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
#2. Turn to mindfulness through meditation, become more familiar with your own mind and slow down your thoughts.
#3. Watch out for triggers and your reaction to them, physical and mental. Your sister didn’t call you on your birthday - you feel sad, anxious, you have a headache, you start blaming yourself and obsess over it.
#4. Congratulate yourself on noticing that chain. Stop beating up yourself for anything, not for feeling the way you feel, not for catching yourself blaming yourself. Take a deep breath. Think that you know your sister loves you, you are loveable, it’s not that big of a deal, you sometimes forget to call people you love on their birthdays, too.
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The change in your mindset will not be instant, you need to practice mindfulness and gentleness on a regular basis before your start noticing the shifts. Remember to slow down before responding to a stimulus, and stop being so hard on yourself!
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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