The more I use mindfulness, both through informal practice throughout the day and formal mini-meditations, the more I’m convinced that it’s the answer to a large chunk of my problems.
Yes – I’m aware that this is a BIG statement to make, but I stand by it. Because at least from my own experience, I increasingly find it to be true.
Let’s consider some of the problems that come up, again and again:
- I want to exercise but my brain has got in the way, made excuses and now I’m not at the gym, but in bed feeling lethargic and unhappy.
- I want to write a book, but I can’t seem to stop procrastinating.
- I want to push myself, personally and professionally, but when i feel feelings of anxiety my inclination is to return to those old patterns of shy avoidance.
- I want to speak my mind but the fight, flight or freeze, and hardwired habit of keeping quiet, stops me in my tracks.
- I want to eat like I love myself, yet I repeatedly find myself doing the opposite; of binge eating, when I’m not even slightly hungry, even when I know I’m hurting myself.
At points, I’ve conquered all of these problems. In fact, I’ve kicked their arse in many respects. But I’m of the mindset now that I’ll never be fully cured of them – and that’s fine… Because I have mindfulness.
Whilst these problems all seem different, they’re really not. At their centre, they’re about changing behaviour.
And what drives said behaviour; your thoughts, feelings, and reaction to those thoughts and feelings.
Through mindfulness one learns to take a step back from all of these things; to look inside our minds and bodies as an neutral observer; to decide if the things we find there are worth listening to or acting on.
Rather than being driven by the same, old unhelpful thoughts and emotions or hijacked by neural pathways that we fall into on auto-pilot… we become the pilot.
And if you’re the pilot, then it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like outside the plane… as you can simply change course.