A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 13

EXPERIENCING THE UNPLEASANT

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This weeks small exercise was about paying attention to experiences we don’t like. Noticing when there is a sense of resistance, of “not wanting”, “not liking”. Also noticing any thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations that come alongside this.

It recommended keeping a diary of these experiences. Write down what you noticed, what you experienced and reflect.

Would you normally have noticed any of this?

  • WHAT IS IT?
  • WHAT THOUGHTS ARE ARISING?
  • CAN YOU NAME ANY EMOTION?
  • WHAT ARE YOU NOTICING IN THE BODY? (BE SPECIFIC)

When something unpleasant happens, can you identify where you usually feel it in your body? How did this exercise compare with becoming aware of pleasant experiences?

I decided to reflect on an unpleasant experience of feeling ‘fed up’ in work one morning.

WHAT IS IT?

 I was feeling fed up in work. I did not want to be there anymore. I felt a resistance to wanting to move my body never mind do actual work.

WHAT THOUGHTS ARE ARISING?

 I hate this place. When will I move on? I don’t feel challenged. I need to move. I am bored. I really do not want to do anything today.

CAN YOU NAME ANY EMOTION?

 Sad. Frustration. Dread.

WHAT ARE YOU NOTICING IN THE BODY?

 A feeling of heaviness in my chest. I feel drained.  Slowed down. Stiffness. My body did not want to move. My face felt long and weighed down.

 Again, this exercise highlights the whole connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviours and bodily sensations. Another self awareness exercise. By zoning in and noticing these experiences we can start to control them more and more.

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J x

🌻Understanding Meditation 🌻

 Meditation quietens your inner self and allows your mind to focus on one thing at a time. But who the hell has time to focus on one thing at a time these days? We’ve so many other things to be thinking about!

 When I first heard of meditation I imagined ‘hippy’ type people with long hair and baggy clothes in weird positions chanting ‘OM’ for hours. Since then Iv learned that sitting in weird positions is only one type and that there are many more options out there. It can be done no matter what your are doing or where you are. We meditate by performing tasks mindfully with our full presence and attention. If you are giving an action or thought your full attention in a calm manner, this is meditation. Stretching, exercising, yoga, breathing can all be meditations. A new type Iv recently come to understand is praying. In all religions meditation is key. Prayer helps you focus on the present, quietens your mind, keeps you in a still position, may forgive negative thoughts and promote thankfulness and gratitude. I never understood religion growing up. I just seen it as different groups of people who all believed in different stories. As Iv matured Iv realised that most religions promote Mindfullness, meditation, positive mindsets, gratitude, forgiveness, and all that other stuff I seen as ‘hippy’ attributes. I’m not saying I’m going to go off and become a nun now and I don’t intentionally sit down and pray to God and rarely go to church but I suppose Iv just become more aware of what exactly religion is now after 18 years in school learning about it 😂😂

 By learning how to meditate we discover new ways to deal with challengers and cope with problems. Meditation reduces stress levels and helps people find purpose and meaning in life. This can be a great coping skill for those who experience mental health difficulties to attain by helping them manage their symptoms. It can give us more energy and even reduce our risk of a heart attack? Soooooooo many pros. The only thing that can hinder your uptake of meditation is your mindset. If you believe meditation is bullshit and won’t work for you then it won’t. Mind over mater and all that jazz. I suppose you wouldn’t be attempting meditation if you thought it was all bullshit in the first place would you? Give it a go. If it isn’t for you then so be it. But no harm in trying!

J x