We spend much of our day creating anxiety by wanting two opposite desires that seem incompatible. When this happens we judge ourselves and elicit guilt over at least one of the opposing desires. Tension is created by having opposite desires as we try to work out a way to have both. Consider the examples below:
I want a clean house, but I want to be outside instead of doing housework.
I’ll have fun meeting my friends for an evening out, but I just want to put on my pajamas and watch TV.
I want to travel, but I want to stay home snuggling my pets.
Anxiety is produced by our own judgment of our thoughts:
If I don’t clean, people will think I’m lazy.
If I don’t go out, my friends will think I’m boring.
If I leave my animals to go on vacation, I’m an irresponsible pet owner.
Tension is produced because you’re searching for a compromise or solution:
Maybe I could hire someone to clean my house.
Maybe I could have an evening “in” with my friends.
Maybe I could travel with my pets.
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment without judgment. Through meditation exercises, you can learn to accept your thoughts without becoming critical of yourself for having the thought. With the practice of mindfulness you can acknowledge your thoughts without trying to answer them, you are not trying to solve a problem, and you are simply experiencing a thought.
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