Another year with COVID has passed. How are you coping with what seems to be the new normal? At a minimum it has been a very long running disruption of what we used to call normal. Do you have more anxiety, or are you feeling the pressure of uncertainty? I wanted to write this post to share something that hit home for me.
It is during times like these, that it is important that we become aware of the thoughts we are having. We all have an almost continuous dialog going on in our minds. Oftentimes we aren’t even aware of it. To demonstrate what I mean, consider the following.
You are sitting in someone’s house and you notice a blue chair in the room. It is different from the other furniture. Your brain starts the dialog.
Wow that chair is bright blue, and it doesn’t match the rest of the furniture. It’s a lot older than the other furniture too. Wonder what the story is with that chair? It must be sentimental, because it certainly doesn’t fit with the rest of the furniture. I wonder if it is the last piece of old furniture they didn’t replace? Wait, the rest of the furniture is nice, but It doesn’t look new though. I wonder if they bought the furniture second hand?………
Have you ever stopped to notice that chatter going on inside of your mind? Just watch the morning news reports on the status of COVID, and pay attention to the chatter that starts in your mind. Becoming aware of that dialog is the beginning of letting go.
If we pay attention long enough we see that most of this chatter isn’t us willingly thinking, It is just thoughts that arise as an unconscious reaction to something we notice. That chatter isn’t who we are. We are the person who becomes aware of the chatter. Unfortunately some people go their whole lives, never becoming aware of the fact that they are not their thoughts.
Try to set a couple of reminders throughout the day to take a moment and be mindful of your internal dialog. When the reminder goes off, notice how you are feeling. Notice what you have been thinking about. Then take a few more minutes to notice whatever thoughts arise, but don’t react to them. Just notice and acknowledge them. If you happen to be having negative thoughts, start to get curious about them and question them. You are not those thoughts. You are the one who noticed them.
When a lot of people hear the word Mindfulness, they often think of meditation or religious practice. Mindfulness is really just learning to pay attention to what is going on in your mind.
It is times like these that our internal dialog can really impact how we feel. Not only are we dealing with the pandemic, but we have taken political sides on it. Much of the world is in a state of political polarity. Social media can provoke a negative mindset with all the opinions on everything from general politics, and climate change to the pandemic.
If you practice becoming more aware of your internal dialog, you will begin to realize that you aren’t those thoughts. You are just the one noticing them. Being an observer will naturally give you more control over just letting them go. Going through this process has been a tremendous help for me, and I hope it will for you as well.
If you have questions or comments feel free to contact me or leave you comment below.