Taking the time this Sunday morning to center myself and reflect on the week that was and the week that is ahead of me. We all have negative thoughts, that is the way our minds are created. We are blessed with equal balances of positive, negative and neutral. Each needing the other to make us appreciate what we have and why things happen.
While majority of the time I am able to see the positivity in most situations, I do feel like I can loose that sight. My thoughts can take over and I find it hard to differentiate between fact and fiction. This can make it hard for me to focus on day to day tasks and while some days I am able to over come these thoughts and shift back into a livable state there are days where it is not possible and I just have to work through it. After taking some time reading to gain a better understanding on how the mind works and ways to deal with “bad days”, I have started to put these different techniques in place.
Put yourself in a chair, in a quiet room. With your feet on the ground and hands in your lap allow yourself to feel centered in the chair. Bring all your attention to the physical act of breathing.
Start to notice the breath as it enters your body through your nose and makes it way down to your lungs. Try to notice whether the inward and outward breaths are warm or cool, notice the route the breath takes with every inhale and exhale. Clear your mind and notice the thoughts of your breath.
Don’t try to do anything with your breathing – just notice it, pay attention to it, be aware of it.
When a negative thought enters your mind. Take note, welcome it. If it is something uncertain to do with the future, acknowledge that. Close your eyes and breath. Think about the troubling thought and sit with it. Put the thought into a sentence. Then tell yourself in your mind “I am having the thought that” followed by the sentence. Emphasize on the fact that you are having the thought. Bring home that what you are worrying about is merely a thought, it is not fact. It is not certain.
Now add to the beginning of your sentence “I noticed, I am having the thought that” followed by the sentence. Place emphases on the fact you are noticing that you are having a worrying thought and let that bring you back into the present moment. Sit with it, acknowledge it. Repeat that until you accept that what you are fearing about is not a present danger, it is not certain. See the thoughts as what they are, not what they say they are.
Spend time doing things that take your mind off your current thoughts. The distraction may be physical, mental or a mixture of both. I find that running, colouring, editing photos and outfit planning are good options. Alternatively, doing something new or challenging can have great effects. I’m currently trying to master headstands and it is a great workout for my mind and my core muscles.
Find the funny things in life, like “dogs that can’t catch” on YouTube (or this headstand that went wrong) and embrace yourself in your laughter. My partner tells me to look at the ceiling, because you can’t help but smile when you look up. Make peace with the uncertainty of life and laugh at it where you can.