How easily do you get triggered?
We are so easily triggered by our environment. It could be something said, a gesture, a look or a behavior. It doesn’t even have to be a person! We can get triggered by the weather or by traffic and we’re off and running into a full blown reaction! I experienced that today and I got triggered so fast that I was shocked by the speed of my reaction. When it happened I said to myself “where did that come from?” If it wasn’t for the practice of mindfulness I would probably still be fuming and feeling like a victim. It’s such a transformational practice that I find myself wanting to share it with everyone!
The practice of learning to shift from reaction to response…
If you’re new to this practice this is a great post to introduce you to the liberating practice of learning how to stay in the present moment no matter what is going on in your life.
The practice of mindfulness helps you learn how to:
- Be in the present moment by connecting to body, breath and mind
- Open to senses and connect with aliveness
- Calm reactivity
- Notice when reacting to triggering situations and cultivate ability to respond
- Be compassionate towards self when you’re going through a difficult time
- Be compassionate towards others when they are going through a difficult time
- Be still instead of running away or getting overwhelmed by your emotions, thoughts, or just life in general.
- Heal wounds from the past
- Make conscious choices about how to respond to life’s challenges
So how do you do this?
The practice of mindfulness doesn’t require expensive equipment or elaborate treatments. It requires that you pay close attention to what is going on in your mind, body and spirit. It is the practice of being in the moment, connecting to awareness and compassion as you would if you were with a best friend whether they were happy, sad, angry or scared. Most of us would feel compassion towards someone in need…when we are the ones in need it’s sometimes a different story.
We begin by noticing what is coming up in the moment, in awareness, without judging it as being good or bad. Just pausing…breathing….noticing… It’s about learning how to be present instead of caught up in thoughts, stuck in the past or lost in the future. To me it really is all about balance.
Picture a linear scale on one end is the running/avoiding it and on the other end is the getting swamped or clinging to it and in the middle is the place of groundedness or what I like to call balance. In practicing mindfulness you pause, notice what is happening in your body, notice your thoughts and label them…thinking…thinking… Don’t follow the story. Allow yourself to feel sensations, emotions, focus on the breath, soften the mind, body and spirit and just be with what is happening. You can choose balance over reactivity. It may take you a couple of minutes or hours to do this…and that’s okay because the most important part is learning that you have a choice about how you respond to yourself (you can be judgmental or compassionate) and in turn towards others and the world.
- Pause and notice what you are carrying in your mind
- Is there a story that is causing you hurt?
- Can you pause and breathe, noticing the sensation of the breath in your body?
- Imagine the breath carrying compassion to the areas of tension and meeting that tension with compassion and understanding…softening the tension or judgment.
- Can you stay with the breathe until you feel a shift in your mind and body?
- Take time to pause throughout your day and notice what happens when you practice moments of mindfulness…
- At the end of your day write about your experience.
May you have moments of peace throughout your day…Namaste