If you answer “Yes” to most of the questions below, this post is for you
- Have you set up unachievable goals for yourself and got disappointed in the process?
- Have you worked yourself up too much over something you really wanted that it made you scared, overwhelmed and eventually you gave up?
- Have you set up a goal that required stages and time to be achieved, but your patience ended and you fell into the black hole of the unknown?
- Has the tension ever prevented you from realising how simple the solution of an issue was?
- Have you started to incur health problems due to stress and self-induced pressure?
- Have you always been so patient and tolerant towards everyone else but yourself?
- Do you often forget you are one and the day has 24 hours when it comes to achievement and progression?
The list could go on forever. I used to answer “Yes” to all of the above. I know…it is sad indeed when you are at war with yourself and no one else is to be held accountable or having to show you any empathy in the situation. For instance, when you set a long-term goal for yourself, but you ignore the fact that “every long journey begins with a first step”, the constraining behavioural thinking kicks in and you go into panic mode. You feel unworthy and incapable of achieving your dreams. You even apply punishments where you prohibit yourself from enjoying life between the present time and the goal destination time. May I just stress on the fact that you are the one setting up the all the deadlines as well, no one sits behind you with a whip, you are the capitan of the ship.
Consequently, you must find who this “YOU” really is. In the publication Untethered Soul spiritual teacher, Michael A. Singer, explains brilliantly the difference between consciousness (who you really are) and the voice in your head who complains the majority of time and never stops talking. Therefore, you must learn to detach yourself from the sad one in order to find freedom, happiness and unconditional love. I truly recommend this book, it does put everything into perspective and it is very easy to digest.
My loved ones and I have tried everything to help me snap out of it. I started working out, I changed my diet, I took yoga classes, nothing seemed to fully work. All these brought a great contribution to my overall well-being, but I still felt sad, frustrated and angry. I could not find anyone to blame. The problem was I had not dug deeply enough to the root of the problem. I was in the doctor’s office one day freaking out thinking I had a thyroid disorder. My throat was feeling so tight due to anxiety. Doctor then looked at me and asked: “Have you heard of mindfulness?”
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which means being in the moment, focusing all your five senses in the present moment, observing things around to the smallest detail from an objective perception, without being judgemental.
According to Forbes, companies such as Google, Transport for London and NHS have all incorporated mindfulness in the employees` schedules in order to enhance productivity, reduce health costs and ensure overall improving performance.
To get into mindfulness you have to start with focusing fully on what you are doing at a certain moment for at least two minutes a day, whether it`s washing dishes, washing your hair, listening to your favourite song. Regardless, don`t forget that it is a process and that you must set achievable goals for yourself. Small steps take you a long way. Additionally, you have to practice as well as monitor your results daily, more importantly to be patient!
- Please find here of examples of mindfulness exercises.
- Once you train your brain to focus on what you want, when you win back the control you once had as a baby over the exquisite machinery on your shoulders, I recommend meditation in order to access consciousness to the deepest level available to us. Learn how to meditate here.
I will leave the teaching side of practices in the hands of professionals while I focus on the reasons why you need to start paying more attention to your mental health. There is no time to waste in an era dominated by depression, dementia, demanding job roles, drug addiction, poverty.
According to neurologists and psychologists it had been proven that mindfulness helps with:
- Pain management
- Helps professional athletes in their high-demanding careers
- The life quality of suffering cancer patients
- The health and function enhancement of the human brain
- Mindful eating
Sarah Knapton, Science Editor for The Telegraph wrote an article on mindfulness and the way it heals severely depressed individuals. Mindfulness can “repair” the brain cells and practitioners are more exposed to emotional intelligence. They are also known to be better communicators, especially in a crisis situation (you MUST practice if you are in the Communications Industry). You will become grounded, brave and bright. The practice is known to help restore neural connections. It is quite a skill to be in charge of your own thoughts and always have an input in the way they impact your life, use them to your advantage – this is the true definition for tenacity, acumen and strength. This is how the most influential leaders and business men function.
You`ll realise that you find it difficult to remember valuable memories, meaningful times spent with family or your closest friends because you are not truly present with your mind and soul at that moment, and that`s a shame; similar situation with when you lose someone close to your heart or when you move to another country and you feel you had not enjoyed enough when you had the chance, this way you would have regrets at a later stage in your life.
I wanted to write this post to celebrate my fellow “barbarians” who are extremely ambitious and have such high expectations and drive to succeed, but put themselves through hell in the process. I do hope you will find your way and yourselves in the process. Once you do, hold on tight and stay strong. To conclude, I will give you a tip: use your toddlers/pets to learn about mindfulness. Analyse their behaviour and the way they focus their attention on one thing at the time. They are not polluted by verbal thinking, cultural influences, metrics, capitalism, revenue, profit maximization.