Welcome to Mindful Monday! Each week I try to self-discover new or sometimes old things about myself. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present.
Let me ask you a question. Are you a worrier? You know what I am talking about… you can’t sleep at night because your thoughts keep going round and round. Your brain refuses to turn off – it just does not want to shut down! You end up spending the night tossing and turning, worrying about things that are usually out of your control anyway. I know I am a worrier, and that is something that I have been working on.
I think as writers, we tend to live much of our time inside our heads, working on characters, plots, and dialog. Our ability to do that is what distinguishes us as writers. It is a strength that we need to hone to perfect our craft. However, if we live in our head too much, we begin to focus inwards and forget that there is a whole world out there for us to engage with and enjoy.
This is where mindfulness comes in. When we are only stuck in our heads, we are worrying about the future and our past. We are drawing on past experiences that enrich our stories that we are trying to share. We dig up empathy from the bottom of our souls to supplement our words so that our readers feel our joy or pain. In other words, we are only focusing inwards. We are not really living in the present.
I worry. I fret over things that I cannot change because they are out of my control. The things I can change, I deal with effectively. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that all this worry does nothing for me. So, I started looking deeper at why I worry about all these useless things. I realized that if I let them go, I could sleep better at night.
This realization was not easy at first. I started small and found some things that seem to help me deal with my worrying woes:
I like to spend some time living in the moment each day. In other words, get out of your head. Go for a walk!
Try meditation. You never know, with practice it could be something that works for you. I find inspiration from Jade the Mystic. He has many helpful tips on his website.
When I start worrying about something I try to realize that my thoughts are just thoughts. They aren’t real. Only my life is real.
I like to look at what is going on around me. This is when I pay attention to my husband, my family, and my dogs, my garden, etc. I have to leave the world I create in my head behind in order to enjoy my life.
I use all 5 senses to view the world. Notice the aroma of your coffee or tea. Feel the coolness of your freshly laundered sheets on your skin. Pay attention to what makes you feel good about yourself.
I have started to avoid electronics and social media for a portion of my day. I try to interact with my friends in person. If you have coworkers this would be a great way to interact also.
And when those nagging worries creep back into my mind, I acknowledge them. I think about them for a minute and then let them go. I try to think of my worries as a bubble. I pop them and they are gone.
Image Credit: HuffPost Healthy Living
And, if that doesn’t work. Laugh at yourself. Sometimes something as simple as that is enough to get you thinking about something else. Good luck and remember:
Don’t Worry. Be Happy!
What do you do to stop worrying?
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. My main objective here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in my life.
I wish you all peace and joy this week!