If you are struggling with problems like being overwhelmed, over thinking, or overreacting. Then some of these skills I learned in my session on yesterday can probably help. Our mind can be our worse enemy: how many times have you experienced these things:
- criticizing yourself, or letting others do it
- Missing out on what someone said to you, because your mind was some place else, now that person is mad at you
- You don’t realize a person or situation makes you upset, so you decided to stay, and then you explode with anger when it’s the last straw
- Noticing at the last-minute that the relationship was very toxic, because you didn’t pay attention to their actions toward you
Being Mindful and Building Mastery can help you cope with these, and other situations before they get worse. Examples of Build Mastery activities in our daily life:
- Doing your dishes
- Cleaning whatever needs to be cleaned
- Completing tasks or homework
- Checking the mail/paying bills
- Maintaining a certain level of organization
Build Mastery skills also include taking on realistic challenges and working toward your goals like,exercising, developing a hobby, or standing up for yourself.
Also don’t forget to give yourself credit for being mindful of your efforts. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for trying, depression and anxiety can be overwhelming. There may be times the only thing you can do is get out of bed, so congratulate yourself on that.
Now, imagine if there was a skill that would help pay better attention to what you were thinking, feeling, or doing at any moment. Imagine this skill could help you make healthier decisions and better choices that would improve your life. Well this skill defiantly exist and it is called Mindfulness: “the ability to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions in the present’ (McKay, Wood, and Brantley 2007, 89.) This means instead of getting distracted by your thoughts, worries, regrets, and criticisms, you pay attention to what’s happening to you in the moment; so that you can make choices about what to do next.
I know this may seem hard for some of us who suffer from mental illness to focus, but I really believe this could help. I have been practicing the mindful breathing exercises as well. Hope this helps one of you…..