Introverts often have a tendency to over-think… and it’s generally not very helpful. I’m a great believer in mindfulness and non-attachment to thoughts and goals, so when Alison offered to write an article about mindfulness, I knew it would be a perfect topic for The Quiet Entrepreneur.
~ Julia Barnickle
Ever woken up in the morning and felt just blurgh? Lots of ‘negative’ emotions going on in your head and it’s so hard to stop them?
You are not alone. Many of us suffer in this way from time to time. It happened to me today. I woke up feeling really yuk. I had no idea what it was about. One thing I did notice was how my mind was trying to get really busy figuring out what on earth was going on. This is completely normal.
Being a business owner this can be a bit tricky. I have lots of things to be getting on with, but let’s face it when we feel blurgh we just want to hide under the covers. An interesting thing happened though. I could have allowed my mind to write off my day altogether given how I was feeling, but this didn’t happen. Why?
One word: mindfulness.
Over the years I have learned to notice thoughts and feelings and to recognise them for what they are: thoughts and feelings. They are not real. What makes a thought or feeling feel real is the attention we bring to it. My thoughts are my own but they don’t describe me. Sometimes – like today – I may feel sad, but it doesn’t mean that I am a sad person. I am just experiencing sadness at this moment. And this too will change. This emotion will pass by, like a cloud floating in the sky.
I’m not saying become like a robot and ignore our feelings: emotions can bring us very useful information when we listen. The problem arises when our minds become so filled with busy thoughts trying to work stuff out, that there is no room to breathe and see what is really happening.
But we can try another way. This way can really help to ride the storm and allow you to continue about your day feeling calmer. Have a go at this:
- See if you can just notice your thoughts but don’t allow the mind to build it into something much bigger, i.e., be with the emotion but try not to believe what your thoughts are saying to you (it’s usually really self-critical)
- Notice your thoughts with absolute kindness as if you are dealing with a small child
- At the same time, breathe. Notice your inhale and your exhale – particularly noticing the movement of your chest and lower abdomen
- Feel the seat underneath you and where it is touching your body. Feel your feet on the floor. Use this as your anchor if the emotion really tries to carry you away
- If needs be, go for a short walk in a park. Exercising in nature for around 10 minutes has been scientifically proven to calm the mind down
- Know that this will all change and it will get easier – providing we don’t believe the story that our mind is telling us
When you are calmer, you may receive some information through your intuition as to what was going on. But don’t cling to that. Just know that sometimes we know what is happening – and sometimes we really don’t. See if you can be with that instead. However you are, give yourself a large dose of self-love and compassion. You are doing the best that you can right now.
If you get really stuck, please feel free to get in touch and share your difficulties. I might be able to give you some further pointers to help you. You can even reach me via Skype if you want to speak to me in person. The choice is yours.
Take care of yourselves.
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