Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mindfulness


Recently I have been feeling overwhelmed by some different situations that have been going on in my life. I truly believe in the phrase "If God has brought you to it, God will see you through it." But I still often struggle with the anxiety of uncertainty. My mind becomes overwhelmed with so many thoughts of different outcomes from each scenario and the "what ifs" start collecting on top of me and I can physically feel the weight of all these thoughts begin to choke me. I will have a hard time breathing and focusing and the pain inside my chest will continue to grow until the tears flow. I have always struggled with anxiety. It is something that I have to work on in my daily life on a regular basis.

Praying and running have always been the two things that truly help me when I feel like I am drowning in my anxiety. Praying allows me to become still and quiet. It calms the anxiety inside me into something I can manage. Running releases the pent up anxiety and sends it away for a brief time. I have even incorporated praying the rosary while I run. Running and praying at the same time have had many benefits for me. I am able to complete a daily rosary and I can normally run a little over 2 miles before I finish. Anxiety is a wild beast that lives within me and can only be tamed if I utilize these coping skills or meditation, like Mindfulness.

Mindfulness, for me, is a type of prayerful moment. I am quiet and I think about the exact moment I am in. For example...
I was at my son's football practice and my mind was racing. I was trying to figure out how to accomplish my week and all the things I needed to add to my do list.  I closed my eyes and erased all the thoughts from within me and I try to focus on things that are happening "in the moment" and think about my blessings.

I am blessed I am physically able to be present at my son's football practice. I am blessed to be able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside. In this moment I am here with my children and that is all that matters in this very moment. Take a deep breath and enjoy this moment for what it is and what it offers you. 

You cannot live in your past and you certainly shouldn't try to live in your future. That is what I have come to understand anxiety is for me. I am overthinking situations that I cannot change and the outcome cannot be changed or I am overthinking what the future holds and how my different choices will lead me down different paths that I cannot see through. Learning to literally live "in the moment" is an amazing feeling.

Nowadays anxiety and depression are quite common and there are saints you can ask to intercede on your behalf that also had to deal with the same issues.

Saint Dymphna is a good one but there is a whole list here.

I wrote this post in an effort to help those that may suffer from the same issues as me and so that I have something to look back on when I am having a bad day. I hope it's helpful.

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