staying calm and being mindful

I learned some valuable things from my therapist yesterday.  Last week I didn’t do something to take care of myself when I should have.   I was mad at someone else who was trying to stop me and I wanted to stay mad.  To stay mad I had to sacrifice my well being.  I have to own that choice.  I wasn’t thinking that way at the time because in the moment I really couldn’t think very well.  I tend to put a harness on my anger (which was really about feeling abandoned, unloved, and unsupported).  Then I close my eyes and will not let go of it until I am emotionally exhausted.  I don’t recommend it, I am learning how to NOT operate this way. 

Anyway, therapist says that emotions have memories.  Things that Brad does will trigger an over reaction in me.  So I am not only reacting to a situation at face value, but to all of the painful memories of the past.  I’ve heard this many times, I knew this, but what I didn’t know what how to go about helping myself out of this pattern. 

So we talked about what to do in the moment.  In those moments I am highly emotional and not very rational.  To regain some balance and center myself before I react I should first of all, stop reacting.  I should do something to distract myself if I need to, and then sit quietly and go through some type of meditation exercises.  This is supposed to shift my brain activity and help get my rational brain cells to work.  I’ve heard of mindfulness talked about in the context of being mindful about how you are behaving or affecting others.  We talked about sitting quietly and being mindful of all five senses, and being purely in the moment.   Paying attention to everything that is going on in my body.  That was another suggestion to help me clear my mind of all the junk running through my mind when I am starting to get upset about something. 

We also talked about being mindful of being in the moment when we are talking with someone.  Most of us when having a conversation have a running commentary going on in our head about what the other person is saying, while they are saying it.  I am supposed to practice listening without the filters and without thinking about how I am going to respond.  I am the type of person whose mind runs 1000 miles an hour and barely stops when I go to sleep.  All this is going to be very hard for me.   It’s been interesting to pick apart my ways of coping.  I feel silly saying but trying something new and unfamiliar is terrifying.   Not because I am worried that I can’t do it, but what will happen when I do.


9 thoughts on “staying calm and being mindful

  1. Sir J says:

    great post, great to hear you talking this way.

  2. Serenity says:

    Thanks for sharing this information from your therapist. The emotional memory concept is very interesting.

    • Ally says:

      Serenity, You welcome. It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around and hard to accept that in the moment there are other forces driving my emotions than the current situation. I think now I will try to sort that out.

  3. This is your best post in that you are soaking up wisdom and voicing fear of change. Furthermore you are describing what it is to be alive. I believe that if you are not making healthy choices for yourself as a result of current behaviors than you have to move through the terror of change. The only thing that can come of change in this case is you learning to mother you ie take care of you. Circumstances arisiing to separate time with D and I creates within me disproportionate anger – all of it relates to ‘sins of the father’. It’s hard to separate out the broken pieces of glass to determine when they were made. But you will.

    • Ally says:

      KL, Thanks for the vote of confidence. Let’s see how many years this takes. I am definately trying to take care of myself, or learning anyway. This is not going to be a direct path of learning/changing. I’m all over the map sometimes 🙂

  4. Sara says:

    I agree with all of the above. Digging up old emotions, seeing them, stepping way from them back into the present, is hard work, but very freeing and well worth the effort. Good for you!

    • Ally says:

      Sara, I just bought this cup that has this on it “Happiness is worth the effort”. I actually bought it just bc it said that, but it is going to be a good reminder when I need it. Which is likely every day. Thanks!

  5. […] you get it – you find it – you get to some qualified professional’s office as Ally did. You open yourself up to healing, this is a ‘striving […]

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