Mindfulness isn’t just about meditating and quieting your internal chatter.
There’s definitely a lot of value in meditation; I have heard clients say that it has changed their life.
You already know what happens: the chatter comes back because the cause of it is still an active force in your mind. You might get faster at quieting the chatter if you meditate regularly, but the chatter doesn’t go away.
There’s another approach to mindfulness; one that gets to the source of the chatter.
Your mind is a living memory—a story you’ve written about and told yourself for your entire life. Every event, experience, and interaction helped you form the story you live by each day.
But is your entire story true?
Your personality was mostly set by the time you were seven.
That means that many of the decisions and guides you use to live your life were formed by a child who lacked the maturity to fully understand and accurately interpret your world.
Some things you learned by imitating other people, but those people might not have been living the way you want to live now.
Are you stuck with those beliefs?
No. You can rewire some of the things you learned and believe. It’s like updating your software so that it has accurate programming and works better.
Is it hard?
The biggest challenge is actually taking the time to do it. Beyond that, it’s relatively easy.
Here’s what you do:
- Take a 24-hour time span and pay more attention to your mind
- Set a reminder on your phone or watch that goes off every 30 minutes to an hour
- When the reminder goes off, ask:
- What thoughts am I having?
- What emotions do I feel?
- What’s going on around me that I’m reacting to?
- Are these thoughts and feelings true representations of what is actually happening or did someone else teach me to think and feel this way?
- If the thoughts and feelings aren’t a true reflection of you or the way you want to live, rewrite them.
- Create a new story in your life and tell it to yourself regularly. This is like an affirmation but deeper. The reason affirmations don’t stick is because we hold beliefs that are in opposition to them. By seeing your thoughts truthfully and deciding that they no longer represent the truth, it is easier to plant a different message.
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