Introduction: Daily Mindfulness Skills
Maybe some people are perfect.
In my opinion, we all have issues, in my case, an eating disorder and other self-defeating behaviors. I had to nearly lose everything before I was willing to seek treatment. Now, years later, I still find it nearly impossible to believe that one day I will wake-up and E.D. will be gone. A forgotten memory.
However, I have learned how to better cope with this demon so to speak. I am sharing with you some of the lessons from my recovery program, not to attempt to replace professional help, but to inform you of some of the techniques you would practice in a professional environment. These life skills seem to be often overlooked or not fully understood. I have compiled my favorites into the following checklist:
Step 1: Feelings Check
"How am I feeling?"
Feelings are not facts, but they are indicators from your subconscious. Your body is trying to tell you something it thinks is important. I like to imagine that I am the center of my body's universe. There are billions and billions of living cells serving me in this life and I am responsible for caring for them.
Are you feeling upset? "HALT(S)" Ask yourself, "Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Stressed?"
Step 2: Breathing Check
If I'm stressed or otherwise upset, I need to become aware of my breathing.
"I can talk other people off of a ledge, I can do that for myself as well."
A nice deep breath, through the nose if you can, filling the lungs so that it fills all the way. Try to hold for a few seconds. Exhale fully. Repeat a few times and then as needed.
Step 3: Who Is Driving the Bus?
Ask myself, "Whose voice is speaking through my thoughts?"
"I drive my mental bus. I can disagree and disobey with the passengers onboard."
This is your wisemind that part of your brain that allows Us the ability to separate from and observe our thoughts.
This video does a great job of capturing this passengers on a bus analogy.
Step 4: Self-Care
Eat by the clockunless feeling confident enough for intuitive eating but use wisemind.
Should I be hungry? Well, I had breakfast this morning, I did exercise earlier today and it's getting close to noon...time for a snack or meal?
It's easy to forget that our vessels in this existence require maintenance. We have to eat, sleep, and maintain proper hygiene. Self-care means that but more, it means being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself as you would a loved-one.
Step 5: Haters Are Gonna Hate!
In other words, acceptance in that which we cannot change.
"What other people think of me is none of my business."
We can't make other people like us. True, we could try to force them, but in the real world, we simply have to accept that not everyone is going to be compatible with our personality style, even within our own family. Though, we can get along - we can deliver a Solution Sandwich for 'em to chew-on.
Step 6: Stop Beating Myself Up
Stop beating myself up. I don't have to be perfect.
Forgiving ourselves for mistakes we've made can be hard. Much harder for some of us, than for others.
What’s done is done, I cannot change the past. I can accept responsibility for my actions and acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes. I will move forward having learned as much as I can from the experience
Take Responsibility: What am I responsible for?
What am I NOT responsible for?
Acknowledgement: What have I already done to learn from the experience, repair things, and make amends?
Planning Ahead: What, if anything, remains to be done?
Accepting Forgiveness: I have taken responsibility for my actions, acknowledged my mistakes, gained insight from the experience, and have or am working to make things better (amends).
Step 7: Persistence
"I can 'urge-surf' my way through the discomfort."
"What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger."
Urge-surfing is consciously saying "No!" to the thoughts of temptation. Sitting on your hands if that's what it takes.
"Inch by inch, it's a cinch... mile by mile it will take a while." If I make a mistake, I can press the reset button and start again with the knowledge I've gained from making that mistake.
Step 8: Reach-out to Others
Call, email, or at least, text a friend.
It's important to reach-out and let other people know you care, you need them, you appreciate them.
I am not an expert and it would be impossible to deliver everything needed to make the best of these tools. It is my hope that you will have found this information useful enough to pursue professional help if your wisemind is telling you that you need to seek it out.
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