Have you ever found your mind preoccupied by the myriad of tasks that have piled up on your desk, even before you get to work each day? As your mind recites each task, counting them off rapidly, your breathing quickens, your pulse starts to accelerate and you may even feel an overwhelming feeling of dread. By the time you arrive at the workplace, you already feel a significant depletion of energy as you wonder how you can possibly complete the day’s work. Is this your experience?
What if you could approach the same day differently; relaxed, with energy, optimism and openness? ‘Is that even possible?’ you wonder.
The key to approaching your day from the latter perspective lies in the discipline of staying in the present moment, or mindfulness. For most of us, as soon as our head gets off the pillow in the morning, the mind begins to race as it rehearses not just the immediate tasks, but also the tasks for the next 24 hours and possibly beyond. Our mind has this ‘crazy’ habit of talking to us constantly and repeatedly about the tasks we anticipate, our fears and anxieties as to what might happen including worst case scenarios, past regrets and hurts; and all at once!
Neither does our mind necessarily ‘respect’ what we are experiencing in the immediate moment. Begin to pay attention to where your mind goes throughout the day’s events and observe the effect your mind’s ‘dialogue’ has on your physical, mental and emotional state. To assist you, I suggest that you start a daily journal, recording the things you notice. Try to find a suitable time to sit down each day and reflect on the day that has passed. Your record might include
- The thoughts you noticed
- What you were doing at the time
- How you were feeling physically, mentally and emotionally
Whilst we associate our ‘mind’ with the brain, in reality our mind is not limited to the brain, but is what we term an ‘embodied’ experience, embracing not only our physical, mental and emotional being but also our relational self.
As you learn to notice your mind wandering into its own ‘far away land’, you can start to bring it back to the present with these two words:
When you are sitting in a lecture and you notice your mind rehearsing all the work you still have to complete, say to yourself:
When your children are excitedly telling you about something that happened at school and you notice that your mind is recalling an earlier conversation you had with your boss, say to yourself:
When your mind is filling you with dread due to a difficult phone call you need to make, take a deep breath and say to yourself:
These two words are your mind’s reminder that it is JUST NOW that I need to give attention to. As you practice this, you will discover over time your mind will learn to refocus quicker and you will feel more calm, relaxed and energised in each day.
Do you struggle with stress and anxiety? Are you constantly worried and fatigued as a result? Do you want to learn more about mindfulness? Contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press BOOK NOW to book in our online diary.
This article was originally published on watersedgecounselling.com