Thoughts are just Thoughts!
We don’t have to believe what we think all the time or take it as an absolute truth. We are not saying that there is never any truth in our thoughts but very often we rely on our thinking to be a reliable guide to how things are. But the truth is very often that the thought is merely a ‘mental event’ – there is a seed of truth surrounded by a shell of inference.
We need to look at being aware of the difference between thoughts & facts, just because our thoughts might be compelling doesn’t make them true
By allowing negative thoughts to arise, and gentle questioning them you can open your mind up to other possibilities:
“Am I confusing a thought with a fact?”
“Am I trying to predict the future?” “Am I jumping to conclusions?”
“Am I just seeing the negative? Where is the positive viewpoint of this thought?”
RAIN is a really cool mindfulness practice that we can use when we encounter a challenge, something unpleasant happens or we are feeling uncomfortable about something. It incorporates the core teachings of Mindfulness and instructs us to:
Pause and asking yourself, “What am I experiencing right now in my body, thoughts, emotions, and situation?”. Doing this prevents denial or avoidance.
Acknowledge what is present in this moment and allow what is already here to be here. It doesn’t mean to say we are agreeing or supporting.
With an attitude of kindness, curiosity and compassion look at what physical sensations, emotions and thoughts you are having.
This means not taking emotions personally, not believing that they ‘belong’ to you; label the emotion that is present in this moment but not enduring.
Show some self-compassion
How often do we take a break from our thinking and judging mind to practice self-compassion? Most of us find it is easier to cultivate loving, accepting thoughts for someone else rather than ourselves. This practice is a way of offering ourselves that same kindness and compassion, helping us to embrace ourselves with love. Use this whenever you may feel worried, anxious or caught in a negative thought pattern and capture after this how it felt to practice this self-compassion.
Find a safe place to step aside , close your eyes for a few moments.
Eyes closed, draw one hand to your heart, flat on your chest; take 3 deep full breaths into the body, letting both chest & belly expand.
Acknowledge what you are struggling with, offering any words of support or compassion you might offer a friend or loved one.
Take a few moments to silently repeat “I love and accept myself. I am worthy of my own compassion and kindness,”
The art of Acceptance
We all know the saying around ‘pain is inevitable but suffering is optional’………by accepting we help to dissolve the suffering dimension; there will always be challenges and we cannot just avoid difficult experiences, by doing this we would be shutting ourselves off from anything, even the good, the beautiful, joyful experiences.
Step by step
This is all about learning a different mode of our minds, moving from an avoidant approach to an accepting approach.
a different approach
Live with it, accept it, by doing this you become more resilient and bounce back easier.
the key is….
The key to Acceptance is about turning towards a difficulty rather than trying to run away…..
The Guest House
Check out the poem The Guest House by Rumi; read and understand his words around accepting thoughts, emotions as if they are fleeting guests.
Before the day begins….
Setting yourself up for the day ahead with a Mindfulness meditation is the best medicine for any anxious mind. Even if you have never meditated before you can start with the basic breathing exercises and build up to 10-15 minutes guided meditations.
Breathing is something we do on auto pilot and therefore we never pay it much attention. Sit in a comfortable position close your eyes and take 3 slow full deep breaths, this can relax you and is the basic form of any meditation.
The 3 minute breathing space meditation is great to do before a meeting or event you may be slightly nervous about, it helps to calm the mind and centre yourself.
Body scan meditation
Get in touch with you breath, thoughts and body with a body scan meditation. Start off with a short one. Try doing it in bed before you go to sleep.
Calming the mind
Meditation will soon become part of your life, it helps calm the mind, allows you to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings and allows you time for yourself if nothing else!