Self-talk can be a wonderful thing, or it can be a completely harmful thing. We have all had that magical moment play out in our mind when everything aligns and things work out just the way we planned them – things can never truly work out just how we planned them because there are always other factors, other people, other hurdles or better things happening in real life. I had this situation recently, I had played the moment through my head hundreds of times, I knew exactly what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it and who I wanted to say it to. It was perfect in my mind; all the pieces fell together beautifully, everyone responded correctly and that was that. Of course, that is not how things turned out at all, a simple comment from a person standing by and the whole direction of the situation changed direction. This was not what I had seen in mind’s eye. I was not disappointed with the outcome of the situation but I was disappointed in myself for wasting so much time playing it over and over in my head.
Because I had spent so much time playing out this situation in my mind, I realised after that I had wasted days thinking about it. These were days when I didn’t breathe in the smell of the beautiful blossom in the air, or acknowledge the laughter of my children, these were days where I just put myself in automatic pilot and ignored the most wonderful things that were going on around me, I was oblivious to them.
One of the best ways to become mindful is to let thoughts go, especially thoughts that become toxic. Of course, thoughts are going to come and go but if we let them stay we become imprisoned by them and they begin to take control of other situations. We need to let go and allow ourselves to be present in the moment. One trick I engaged a lot in last week was asking myself “Does the situation matter right now to me?”, the answer was always no and when I finally got into the situation that was kidnapping my thoughts, of course, the playing out of the it was nothing like the worries that had taken over my brain for the preceding days. By removing ourselves from our thoughts a little we can help to alleviate tension, anxiety and preoccupation; we are not born with these feelings, they become habits.
Mindfulness is tricky, especially when worries want to make their way in. I have mentioned some ways to help become mindful in some previous blogs, however below I have listed some more ways to aid in your journey to mindfulness.
The Serenity Prayer
God me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;