Mindfulness. It’s finally catching on. It’s the new black.

Stop !  Enjoy the aroma of that coffee without clicking on texts and emails at the same time. Taste the coffee and look around you. Be aware we of your thoughts.

Worry, Anxiety,  Fear, Regret

A friend went to the doctor knowing she had a hormone imbalance problem. She expected to get a prescription for progesterone cream. Instead the doctor, being a holistic kind of doctor, asked her “Do you live in the past or in the future”? He explained that living in the past can stimulate regret and living in the future can invite anxiety. Both of these emotions affect the endocrine system. He suggested that if she could learn to live in the present moment her liver would be able to do its job and balance her hormones.

Not exactly what you expect to hear from a doctor.

When we’re worrying about the future, we are thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet. We can  easily ‘do major disasters’ in our head.

I used to think that thoughts just popped up into the mind and were outside of our control – unless we focussed on something specific that took our whole attention. Now I know we can actually learn to control our thoughts. We can slow down the random chatter and the imaginary conversations we create in our busy little minds.

Is there something in the past you wish you had not done or had done better? We know logically that what’s happened is past. But we churn things over in our minds: what he said, what she said, what they should have done….re-living, ruminating.

It’s  a nice little game that the mind plays when we let it. Running the story over and over  refreshes the original irritation, anger or sadness.  Like the photograph above, repeatedly thinking the same negative things, puts tracks down in the mind. These tracks help us jump to conclusions when a similar thing happens again.

Sometimes something happens that totally irritates you – perhaps someone cuts you off in traffic. You blast your horn and think how stupid other drivers are.

But let’s say you discovered that the driver was rushing to a hospital because his child was dangerously ill. No doubt you’d be filled will concern and compassion and your irritation would dissolve.

We can choose how to respond to a memory or an event.  So why not choose the best interpretation next time you’re in traffic. You have a choice to make yourself happy or unhappy.

Read the posts on mindfulness and meditation for help with changing your focus from negative to positive thoughts.

 

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