Here is a mindfulness strategy as you head into the last month of the year and as your calendar get a bit busier, your to do lists a bit longer. It is easy to feel stressed and get down on yourself. I know how easy it is to be be hard on ourselves, and sometimes over the smallest things.
I caught myself giving myself a bit of a mental cuff on the side of the head because of some things I didn’t get done on the weekend that I had promised myself I’d do. I took a moment to pay attention and realized that there was a tightness in my stomach. Emotion is always accompanied by bodily sensation.
I reminded myself to observe the tightness, without judging, and with compassion. Over the next few breaths, the tightness eased and then disappeared. Had I not paid attention, there is a good chance I would have been carrying that tightness around for awhile. Not healthy.
When you find yourself with negative self-talk, I invite you to try the following:
Ask yourself, “what am I feeling in my body?”
Identify the sensation(s) by name, eg. Heat, tightness, curling
Observe the sensation without judgement and with compassion.
Note the shifts in sensation, renaming it as it changes.
Continue observing the sensation until it dissipates and leaves, like riding a wave gently to shore.
NOTE: It is a core element of mindfulness to acknowledge and be aware of the existence of the sensations, not to resist or try to ignore them. It is also important to do so in a kind and loving manner.
It is a good time of year to remember to show ourselves the same compassion and kindness we have for others.
Let me know if you found it easy to identify and name the sensations. Were you able to ride the wave to shore?
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Have a wonderful week!