Values and Mindfulness:
When life feels out of balance, we inevitably feel stressed out. Sometimes we don’t even realise how or when this happened, we may feel stuck and unable to find a way to become unstuck. Feeling out of balance usually means that somewhere along the way, we have moved away from living life according to our values and perhaps started chasing after things that we thought would bring us happiness, but are obviously not.
A happiness myth set by society is the idea that we should always be happy, or that happiness is a natural emotion for us all. Life is difficult, and it inevitably involves some suffering. Life is about being able to experience a full range of emotions, and that may include disappointment, pain, sadness, anger.
Values are your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being. They are not about what you want to get or achieve, they are about how you want to act on an ongoing basis as you pursue your goals. Values can usually be described by one word, for example: trustworthy, loyal, open-minded, caring (for others and the self), genuine, accepting, fun-loving, honest, adventurous.
Values act as a compass to give you direction and guidance, motivation, and inspiration in life.
Remembering your values can help transform stress from something that is happening against your will and outside your control, to something that assists you in focusing on and strengthening what you want to stand for.
Time for reflection:
What do you want to be about? What do you want to stand for? At your funeral, how would you like to be remembered? How would you like to act, so that you can look back years from now and feel proud? Have a think about the most meaningful roles in your life that bring you love, meaning, laughter. Now ask yourself this: would you describe them as stressful at times, or regularly? We often desire a completely stress-free life, but that is not always a realistic possibility.
‘Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort…. Go after what it is that creates meaning in your life, and then trust yourself to be able to handle the stress.’– Dr Kelly McGonigal.
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. An opportunity to tune yourself, by initially focusing on your breath, and bringing an openness to whatever you discover. It is an opportunity to learn the art of acceptance and self-compassion.
Unlike popular belief, you do not need to be sitting, cross-legged in a meditative state to practice mindfulness. There are ways where you can actively practice it. An example of this could be in the shower: next time you shower take a moment to look up to the shower head and notice the water droplets as they come out of the shower head, listen to the sound the water makes as it splashes on the tiles, the slippery nature of your soap as you grab it from the soap dish, the smell of your soap or shampoo. Notice the warmth of the water as it hits your back.
The purpose of mindfulness is to bring you back to the present moment, and to notice any sensations or feelings as they arise. We often live life beating ourselves up about the past or unnecessarily worrying about the future. When we are stressed we are constantly shifting between the past and the future, skipping the most important moment, the here and now.
The present moment provides us with the opportunity to check in with ourselves; to work out if our actions are in line with our values, and to reflect on what is happening to us right this moment so that we can then choose how to respond.
If you or someone you know could use some help please reach out to our Psychology and Counselling team. You easily book online https://www.beachside-physio.com.au/ or simply call 95440477.
The team @beachside.