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Opinions Mon, 2 Nov 2020

Mindful Mondays

Anger

Shame

Resentment

"I thought it was just me."

Anxiety

Depression

Low self-compassion

"Surely no one could be this lost and confused."

One of the biggest lies that gets in the way of wholehearted living is the one that says: "surely, I am the only one experiencing this."

When you experience any of the emotions above it usually does not come alone. No, they come with an associated gremlin that makes a home in your mind constantly reminding you that you are all alone in this world.

For starters, that's a lie.

And we know what we need to do with lies: We do not make the mistake of attempting to rationalize lies, they do not deserve our mental agony.

Lies like these only create more pain. Why? Because we as people are hard-wired for connection. The moment we feel alone and feel singular in our struggle, we are less likely to seek help leaving us with nothing but self-pity and shame.

I don't know about you, but I bet just like me when you find yourself in a swirl of self-pity and shame it is incredibly difficult to remain mindful.

The crippling effects of shame-based isolation can steal precious moments from your life. It cripples the part of your mind that says " I can do this. I am worthy of love and belonging. I am enough." And if left to its own devices it separates you from the very truth of who you are.

It takes awareness which is built by practicing mindfulness to be able to stop this sort of thinking in its tracks.

This is why mindfulness is such a critical practice. Mindfulness helps us identify triggers and emotions as they are happening. If we can identify them, then we can make the move to deal with them.

My favorite thing to do is to speak to negative emotions with grace and compassion. Sometimes it sounds something like: " You are incredibly loved" " Be grateful for this moment", " Show grace to the person you once were, she didn't have all the information".

And sometimes it's just a big belly laugh at how ridiculous I am being to myself.

My resilience couldn't have been built without a regular mindfulness practice. By regularly meditating, journaling, even writing these messages to you, I have trained myself into self-awareness, and you can too.

I have recorded a couple of guided meditations. You can start with these to begin your mindfulness practice and begin to build that mental resilience today.

Listen to them here:

Guided Meditation 1

Guided Meditation 2

Everything worth it takes practice. Practice means we do it regularly, and over time it becomes our default. This will require patience. Be patient with yourself through this entire process.
Columnist: Nana Konamah