Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Help I can't be Mindful, because my Mind is Full...
As I have moved through my recovery I am noticing that my mind is swinging from being full of 'cotton wool' to being full of ideas and thoughts to keep me 'occupied'. It is only in the last couple of days, and a few weeks of disrupted sleep patterns, that I have recognised that it is becoming an obstacle to me practising mindfulness. So I'm going back to the basics of Mindfulness to move from Mind Full to being Mindful...
1) The first thing is to notice that my mind is crammed. And to notice that these thoughts, a lot of them 'worry thoughts', are preventing me from seeing the positives around me at the moment. My Therapist did an exercise with me using my interlaced fingers to help me realise that the 'wall of thoughts' is preventing me from living in the moment, simply because I cannot see anything beyond these thoughts. So I need to let go of them and not stop with noticing the wall of thinking in front of my eyes.
2) Practice the exercises which allow me to diffuse thoughts and feelings - I use my safe place (a river bank in the Yorkshire Dales) and my thoughts attach to the leaves on a tree overhanging the river. I watch as they detach, float down onto the river and let the flow of the water take the thoughts away. At the moment, because I am in a 'hyper' mood I need to begin with focusing my mind by mindful breathing.
3) I need to be aware that activity is not validating on its own - where does my real validation come from? Can I accept myself as I am, that I am worth something without a paid role? This is an ongoing battle and is critical and foundational to my long term recovery. Self compassion and self acceptance, again, are something that I have to practice. So I am using self soothe, and some mindfulness exercises based on 'Loving Kindness' that I've downloaded from t'internet.
The human mind is an amazing gift, but it needs to 'tamed' and brought into line with life as it is, right now, so that it is not getting in the way of my enjoying the present.