Mindfulness Verses Mindlessness and the Various States of Mind that Follow
We all have various moods. This is absolutely normal. We are humans beings who experience a range of emotions ranging from mild to intense. Moods can also be known as various states of mind. One always wants to examine the distinct difference between these constantly shifting states. This helps to build awareness of how we are feeling when in these extremely different states of mind.
This is an Image of Being Mindful
The above image shows a peaceful scene of the beach, sand, rocks, glaciers and ocean. These all remind of us serenity, peace and tranquility. It is not being shown to look at it in that way however. It is shown to notice the different things that we see when we look at that photograph and the words within it. The word Mindful is also an acronym.
- Moment to Moment Attention
- In the Here and Now
- Non Judgemental Attitude
- Detatch from Unhelpful Thoughts
- Forgive and be Greatful
- Unconditional Acceptance
- Learn with a Childlike Mindset
Learning More on Moment to Moment Attention
This is being here in the present state of here and now. If this word is unfamiliar to you, and it may be at this point, you can start with a word that we all know as a regular word in the English language. Focus. That is when we are attentive to what is going on around us, paying attention to what is going on in the here and now and not drifting off into a sea of thoughts. It is a state of being aware of all of your surroundings, going on the small things even, appreciating the here and now, not focusing on the past for the future. It is just being present and hang attention in a non-judge mental state.Interesting study moment to moment attention.
Whenever we give anything our attention, we are giving “it”, “that”, or “who”, the ability and power to change how our brain is working at the moment. If something has our undivided attention, we are ducked in like a Hoover and entranced. It almost has a giant illuminating bright light surrounding it as well. That is whatever “it” may be. Imagine the ability to truly control your focus of your attention? Getting better at it, reeling it in to where you want it. Like a Lasso, we want to rope our moment to moment attention and rope it in again and again to gain control over the thoughts that are constantly flowing in and out of our minds. Imagine being able to get rid of bothersome, anxious and worrisome thoughts as easily as they flowed into your brain? They flow back out the same way. That is one of the great benefits of mastering mindfulness is mastering your attention.
In the Here and Now
When we speak of in the here and now, that’s exactly what it is. Here right now, being aware , alert and cognitively processing everything that is going on in the present moment. Not 20 minutes, not next week, right now. This again involves being mindful and not being distracted by anything else in the world that might be ruminating in your head. Being able to do this can also give you a great amount of power over your emotional well-being. The acronym Mindful all ties together perfectly like knots in a rope. Each word loops to the next, making more sense as you become more in tune with every present moment. When we are grounded in the present mind, we are able to be both more mentally and physically fit. It truly is the key to helping to manage your stress, worries and mindful people are proven to be happier people as a result. Being connected to the here and now and being able to bring back your moment to moment attention to the present moment is the first two steps to living a more mindful existence. It is proven to help chronic pain as well as acute pain sufferers feel less physical agony.
Mindfulness is a Great tool in the Pain Management Toolbox.
The Reasons Living in the Present Moment Can be Challenging.
Do you feel like being in the present moment and grabbing your attention like a lasso is difficult? That’s because it is. We are trained to dwell, think and ruminate. Our minds process images, information and history thousands of times a day with something we all know called.... thoughts. The internet itself encourages us to live in our past. When we say “Hey Siri” or have our sound on, we are being listened to for keywords to market products to us. Other images, advertisements and alerts also do this. We constantly get reminders that it’s someone’s birthday whether we talk to them or not anymore. Are these things healthy groceries? No. We can’t constantly change everything in our calendar to are ever adapting light. That’s why we have to constantly shift and focus back to refocusing. Even the chime of our phones, sends signals to our brain of dozens of memories immediately, shifting our focus back to the past. Lasso back in when this occurs.
Guide to Let go of Judgements
How Can I Not Be so Judgy?
Now that we have your attention and your paying attention to how you feel in the present moment, how do you feel about that? Interesting question isn’t it? The first two parts of the mindfulness acronym are the easiest. You would think anyways. However, as human beings we have a tendency to go into black or white thinking modes a lot. We also tend to judge.
What are Judgements?
- Wonderful or horrible
- Brilliant or Stupid
- Gorgeous or Unattractive
- The Best or the Worst
- Describing how things should be or they shouldn’t be
- Continuing to compare and contrast
What’s the Issues with Judgements?
When we begin to get judge mental about anything at all, it brings us off course. It takes us out of the present moment and destroys our focus. That’s when the issues arise.,This is when we grab our imaginary lasso and rope our attention, the present moment and our judgements about all of it back in again with our imaginary lasso. Every time you get off track, picture yourself with that lasso, grabbing what’s keeping you grounded, and pulling it back in, until you have regained control yet again. We tend to stop observing how we feel and even end up back in chronic pain when we fall into the judgement zone. Managing information chronic pain with being mindful really does work as a part of a complete chronic pain treatment plan according to Patty Rounds Who teaches DBT for Chronic Pain both online and in person.
We Stop Observing When We Judge
The thing about judgment is that it tends to feed emotions that are negative. Shame, anger and guilt or some common emotions one may feel when we go into a mindset that is judge mental. We also have a fragile view on positive judgment as anything that can be judged as good can also be judged as the opposite or bad. One has to take active steps to let go of any kind of judgement.
Guide to Let go of Judgements
- A good way to start is by actively doing practice. Start counting how often you are doing it and noticing judgements.
- Ask yourself the question if you want to be judging and if the judging is helping or harming you.
- Change judgment statements with Statements of preference: such as “I love...” “I enjoy ...” or “I prefer.
- State the possible consequences. Say things to yourself like this could be helpful or harmful because of this or that. This could be effective or ineffective because of this or that
- State only the facts. Recall a time when something happened a certain way.
- We will go into this later but practice excepting radical acceptance or excepting what is. That means excepting all the preferences, consequences and facts that go along with said situation.
- Let go of those judge mental thoughts.
- Let the judgments drift away like leaves on a stream.
- It may sound silly but always be mindful and remember not to judge your judging.
Action Plan of a Non Judge-mental Stance
- Find a judgment about yourself, someone else, or a specific situation.
- Put in words why your letting go of this judgment
- Use facts and descriptions of them instead of judgments and the possible consequences of such judge mental behavior.
- Write down your preferences about how you feel about what happens when you follow through with these judgments.
- Work on excepting the descriptions in a non-judge mental way and letting go of these feelings.
- Work on identifying any actions that help you to feel better physically and mentally and also allow you to let go of the judgments.
- Use imagery and body posture as well as relaxation techniques to help you let those judgments flow down a mountain after a long summers night rain.
- In your action plan, write down the changes that you notice in how your body and mind.
- Notice the acceptance rather than denial of the emotions and pain-that you are having. Accept it’s happening and take the power away from it.
- Again, this cannot be stressed enough. Don’t judge you’re judging.