If I Can Do It, So Can You!

by Christine Lusita | | Meditation

Mindfulness lets you tame the beast within. If you can name it, then you can tame it! By bringing awareness to your thoughts, mindfulness lets you step back and identify what exactly you are feeling: “I feel resentful that my boss takes me for granted.” That simple action gives you the detachment to see your resentment without taking it so literally andwithout hitting the vending machine. (Thich Nhat Hanh talks about this concept in his book Taming the Tiger Within.)

Mindfulness helps you stay in tune with your body. Stress causes emotional distress, but it also can ache physically. By naming and taming your feelings, you also take notice of how your body is holding up against the pressure of life. So, that crick in your neck is not necessarily because of My Pillow, and that lingering headache behind your eye is probably not because it’s going to rain tomorrow. When you’re stressed, your body pays the price. Now you can notice pains earlier and take the right action.

Mindfulness soothes your lizard brain. Stress responses reside in the amygdala, the caveman-era part of our brain that signals danger, danger and tells us to climb a tree or grab a spear. Being mindful calms the crazy from this primitive lizard brain and reminds us that when Mildred and Mary come to visit, the only real threat is to the clean air in the bathroom. Mindfulness also presses the pause button on those racing thoughts and bad coping mechanisms. (What if they ruin my Eileen Fisher sheets? Oh, my God, I better remember where I hid the cigs.) You can then use your “wise mind” to come up with better responses. (Maybe they can babysit so hubby and I can go out.)

This is an excerpt from The Right Fit Formula