Mindfulness = Self Love
As I write this blog the room is spinning. Yes- you read that correctly. I have been suffering from crazy vertigo for the past 4 days and I still don’t know what the heck is going on. I have been to the doctor and all she can come up with is a viral infection affecting my inner ear.
This is the first time I have ever dealt with anything like this. Sitting or laying down are better options than standing at this point and you better believe I am NOT working out. NO WAY! It would be like working out while drunk and although I have heard stories of how funny this is, I will leave it to my crazy friends who have done it.
So these past 4 days I have been practicing self-care by abstaining from exercise. I am LOVING my body by doing what I know in my heart is the best thing for it. I have made the observation, recognized and acknowledged that something is off in my body and that the best thing to do is to rest. This is an observation and a conclusion free from judgment. This is being mindful. I share this with you because the root of so much of our daily stress can come from not being mindful in situations that our out of our control (and that is most situations). We attach certain values and judgments onto so many things in our life that frankly don’t deserve them and in return we get stressed out. So if stress is a familiar and daily battle this post is definitely for you!
There has been an increase of interest in “mindfulness” throughout the health world in the past few years and it is something most people don’t fully understand. I admit I was still confused as to how to practice mindfulness even after years of therapists telling me to be more mindful until about 3 months ago when I attended a free informative lecture about mindful meditation. Rather than try and explain what mindfulness is, below are 2 examples to illustrate the options I could have taken while dealing with my vertigo/illness:
1. I feel horribly dizzy and nauseous so I’m not going to workout today. I am skipping yet another day of exercise. I feel like such a lazy blob! I am such a hypocritical personal trainer! I hope no one realizes that I haven’t worked out for 5 days. What would they think of me? I am so embarrassed that I am being so lazy and unproductive. I am such a mess.
2. I feel horribly dizzy and nauseous so I’m not going to workout today. I am skipping exercise again because I still do not feel well. I will resume my exercise once I feel better.
So… which one was mindful? (duh, right?)
The first example was filled with judgment, anxiety and stress. This is NOT being mindful. The second example was a simple observation free of judgment and consequently free of anxiety and stress. Which one sounds more loving and nurturing? Yes, another “duh” question.
Being mindful in situations that are out of our control like traffic, natural disasters, illness, or other people’s behavior (biggie) not only stops stress and anxiety from ruining our health, it also allows us to be kinder and more nurturing to the most important person in your life; yourself.
I challenge you to try this in your next stressful situation. Objectively observe the situation. Try to avoid attaching a value or judgment onto this observation. Yes – this does take practice and I will admit I am still on a learning curve but the more objective I am with life’s unpredictable curveballs the more patience and love I am able to give to myself.