So, they say we have a tendency to turn towards the negative. A natural consequence of our need to survive.
Mindfulness Check-in to Boost Your Mood
Checking-In Mood Boost (18 mins) – By Chris Cheung
An honest mindful check-in
So, it’s the Mayday holiday right now and many of us may be feeling relaxed and content. However, others of us may be feeling bored, dull, or even stressed or isolated. Some of us may also be in lockdown and this may be adding to feelings of restlessness. During the holiday season there can be feelings that you ‘should’ be feeling one way or the other; because it is a holiday perhaps you feel you should be feeling relaxed or that you should be having fun. The reality could be that you’re feeling lonely and isolated and this can easily lead to a sense of restlessness and being in the doldrums. So, what’s a good way to tackle these challenging emotions? One of the ways is by having an ‘honest’ check-in with yourself.
Taking a breathing space is a good way to do this. The breathing space allows you to take a moment to see directly what you are experiencing in the present moment; your thoughts, emotions, body sensations. It encourages you to be with these experiences whatever they may be, using the breath as an anchor to ‘accompany’ you through the practice. It also invites you to be kind to yourself.
Setting your intentions
Setting intentions before the practice can be useful, so you may want to set intentions such as:
1. To observe and be honest with what you’re actually feeling. Having direct experience of your experience right now.
2. To accept whatever is happening just the way it is. There’s no need to change anything.
3. To be kind to yourself. There can be a tendency to blame yourself if the practice is not going well or you’re not experiencing what you thought you should.
There’s no need to be hard on yourself. If we can be aware of our negativity towards ourselves, we can change our attitude towards our experience. Perhaps we can even say to ourselves:
‘It’s okay to feel this way’.
‘In the face of the challenges that I’m facing this is normal.’
By doing this we lead ourselves out of the path of negative thinking, which can too easily turn into a downward spiral.
Within our power
As we emerge from the practice you may realise that this checking-in with yourself is very useful in helping you to regulate your patterns of thinking and your emotions. Just by being honest with ourselves and checking-in we can get a genuine sense of how we’re feeling; and this helps us to escape downward negative patterns that can leave us feeling dull and lacking in energy. Also, realise that doing this, is all within your power.
More to explore
- Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition
- Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
- Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology
- Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization
- Explanation of the Satipatthana on Wikipedia