When you’re more aware of how your thoughts affect your feelings and are able to watch your thoughts, you suddenly live a life of truth. You see your thoughts as passing story lines, ones you know not to buy into. As we practice living a mindful life, aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions as they are happening, we are able to make change. Change comes by not giving into our thoughts. By not reacting immediately and instead giving yourself some ‘cool off’ time to calm down and reflect, eventually responding to the situation. Reacting is impulsive, whereas responding is reflective.
Another benefit that comes to being mindful, is that we are no longer tempted to be shaken up by someone who is mad at us, which inevitably happens. When we know someone is disappointed, frustrated or agitated by us, and we are confronted, we tend to be brought down by their negative energy. Being mindful essentially equals a heightened awareness. Therefore, instead of taking their words, actions and negativity personally, we are instead able to distance yourself from the situation, looking over it merely as an observer. Their aggression becomes somewhat humourous to you, because you are able to see that they are working themselves up. Being able to observe without getting caught up in anothers’ issues, his is one of the greatest gifts of those who have decided to lead a more mindful life.
Last summer I took a course in Mindful Based Stress Reduction. It is a course that teaches people the significance our thoughts and perceptions have on our mood, and through the 9-week intensive course, my life was transformed. I wish for you that you can simply read this very blog post and too reap the benefits I reaped from MBSR, but training your mind to be like this is a feat not easily accomplished in the short term.
If you are someone who – when arguing with your partner – takes on their issues and blame, then perhaps you should stop and let them play out what works for them, but without buying into their reactive words. When we give into these arguments we are furthering unhealthy habits.
Instead, show your partner that:
– you are not going anywhere (don’t stonewall them)
– reassure them that you love them
– and ask them what solution will make them feel at ease, so you can trouble shoot for future situations.
If they aren’t responsive to your toned-down ways and you find yourself getting worked up by their inability to just ‘let go’ and ‘move forward’, zone in on your thoughts by looking at what you are telling yourself. Are you telling yourself ‘He never understands me?’ ‘If he loved me he’d….’ If so, reframe your thoughts to, ‘I might not be being clear and I’m going to decide to show him my support, and it is now up to him if he wants to accept it.’ When we are aware of our thoughts, we can re-write our story by selecting healthier thoughts. We will also be more aware that their words and tone in the heat of the moment, are not to be taken for face value, and we should write them off as our partners’ defence mechanisms, and leave it at that. When someone becomes aggressive, or silent, it usually stems from an insecurity. Realize that and be there for them once they are ready. Let’s just hope it comes with an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ apology. If not my little blondette, you might have bigger issues on your hand.
– Jenny Jen
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