Wednesday 12 July 2023

July 11 2023

As a practicing psychotherapist, I notice my clients coming into therapy worn down from battling external world stressors and they do not yet have the approach or the skills (mindfulness) to see how the internal world (thoughts, feelings, sensations, impulses) is operating. Or they may be avoiding the interior (which often works against them). You can empower yourself by learning mindfulness which is in some part just directing your attention to your internal world and listening without judgment. You will find that your greater awareness can hold just about anything, and you can have a little distance from them by becoming a witness of your own experience. Try simply noticing, acknowledging and describing what's happening. What thoughts are arising? What feelings? What sensations or impulses are arising in relationship to those automatic feelings and thoughts? These feelings and thoughts inform one another and influence our behavior and our inaction, too. It helps to build a relationship with them. Dialogue with your fear, your anxiety, your sadness. Ask it what it wants from you at any particular moment. You will find they have good and bad sides to them. They may be trying to help you but in all the wrong ways. You can challenge them if they are over or under blown. Meditation can help. Watching them arise as you are trying to focus on your posture and your breath. Letting it all be. Acknowledging it happening without judging or criticizing yourself. Becoming less attached and less unattached or avoidant. Watch how they subside, arising and falling like waves. Understand the natural cycles of things. Surf an urge or impulse without actually acting on it. See how long you can last. Play with it. The problem with mindlessness, in my opinion, is that we become enmeshed with aspects of our interior world, and when you think you are your thoughts, or you are your feelings, this can cause suffering. You can learn not to buy in so much. Just let them in, have them for tea, but challenge them when they have outrageous ideas like telling you that you are nobody or nobody likes you, or that you will never get things right because you're a screw up. No! That is a lie! You’re really not broken or faulty or unloved. You are living in the context of an unforgiving, fast-paced, judgmental, patriarchal, capitalist world! And it is having a bad effect on you. Anyone might naturally feel lonely, alienated, weak, and hopeless in this context. Don't believe everything your automatic thoughts tell you. Talk to them. Question them. Stay curious. And try to keep moving toward your values, toward your happiness. Fight for your life if you must. Find the ones out there who you can understand, the ones who can appreciate your struggle, the ones who give you the sense of belonging that everyone is thirsty for. Try to envision your best self and be your best self today. Don't give up hope!  #katyamills

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