From Mind-Full to Mindful - Part 1: The 2 Habits That Interfere with Being Present
This is part 1 of a 3 part blog post. Read Part 2 here.
Are you a worrier? Am I alone when I say that sometimes the worrying and thinking gets a bit out of control? My head can be a crazy place sometimes!
One of the things that I worry most about is that my kids are on electronics too much. And then sometimes I realize I'm distracted and not really present with my kids and then allowing them to spend too much time on electronics so I can have “time” to worry and think about “important things”.
It started to get more clear that being stuck in my head was the source of some of my guilt. Being stuck in my head keeps me from doing what it would take to be present with my kids, to connect with my husband, to take care of myself.
And then I feel guilty and shift into beating myself up about being distracted and not fully present with my husband or my kids.
Can you say V I C I O U S C Y C L E ?
When our minds are F U L L, we're anything but present. Well, we may be present to our thoughts, but most likely, we're not present to everything that's happening all around us.
A little guilt (learning from the past can help us make better decisions in the future) and a little worry (can help us prepare for the future and prevent a gut sense of something being wrong from getting out of control) is to be expected and would be considered normal. Right?
BUT YOU AND I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…
The over-thinking that makes us not hear our kids when they keep repeating “mom” over and over.
The guilt that turns into beating ourselves up and leaving us feeling bad about ourselves.
The way we repetitively choose to do "one more thing" and neglect self-care, play and rest and then feel burnt out, impatient and reactive.
The panicky worry that has us awake at o-dark-thirty.
“If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will ever change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” - Wayne Dyer
Here’s the thing. Besides stealing our precious present moments, these 2 habits - indulging in worry and guilt - are often ways to avoid taking real action in your life NOW.
WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON TO STOP DOING THEM!
This is how it goes…
We feel guilty, then we beat ourselves up which makes us feel crappy about ourselves. This leads to feeling shame and that spirals us into inadequacy – which tells us we have no ability to do any better or to deal with the situation. So we don’t take action around the thing that we originally felt guilty about. This becomes a vicious cycle and we get stuck in inaction. Frustrating right?
And that worry that keeps us up at night? We’re fearful for the future (especially for our kids). We’re hanging onto the hope that we'll somehow improve the future outcome by worrying. But most of the time, it’s completely out of our control. Often, worrying will cause so much emotional distress that we end up feeling immobilized so we avoid taking action we know could be beneficial for the future.
WHEN OUR MINDS ARE FULL, IRONICALLY, WE LOSE THE ABILITY TO TAKE THE ACTION THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What can you do?
- Become aware of how much you worry and beat yourself up. Awareness is always the first step to making any changes in our life.
- Don’t beat yourself up for worrying. Don't get consumed with guilt. Be gentle. Just notice it and acknowledge it – name what you notice — call it worry or guilt or self-criticism. Notice it and don’t try to change it (yet).
- Check in with yourself - how do you feel? Where do you feel tension in your body?
- Take a breath and check out part 2 where we learn clear ways to break your worry & guilt habit.
Did you have any a-ha's from this? Share below!