Do you often feel exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed, while you are not really that busy physically? It might be that your adrenal glands are making overtime.
I believe that in Western society many live their lives this way; on Monday morning we wish it was Friday afternoon already, and we fantasize about our ‘escape’ to the tropics next month or even next year.
We ARE literally wishing our lives away and this behavior causes a lot of stress, since our true self knows this is not the right way to live. I remember the first time one of my spiritual teachers asked me how often I ‘loose’ time… of course I didn’t know what she was talking about. She then asked me if I ever experienced driving my car on a familiar road and all of the sudden I already arrived at my destination without actually recollecting the scenery I drove by. I had to admit somewhat embarrassed that that sounded familiar to me.
My mindfulness teacher then sent me home with a nice exercise to see if I switch to ‘auto pilot’ often: I had to go to a grocery store and buy my groceries like I always do and stay alert and aware all the time in that store. Even… when I was waiting in line at the cash registers…
This was the very first time I realized how often I am not ‘in the here and now’. In the beginning of my mindfulness training I was shocked how often I ‘leave my body’ and ‘travel in my mind’ to the past or the future.
My thoughts about the past had often a sad vibe to them. My thoughts about the future were of an escaping kind, or loaded with anxious feelings about things still waiting to happen.
Daydreaming is one thing, but stressing about the past or the future can have a devastating effect on our health and well being. Being on auto pilot, more present in the mind than in the present time, can cause stress and anxiety.
Three tips on what to do after you catch yourself on auto pilot with harmful thoughts about your past or future:
- Focus on your breathing, wiggle your toes and become aware of your body again. Pinch yourself carefully if necessary. Come back in the here and now.
- Take in your environment. Look for three different shapes, five different colors and then stamp your feet on the ground while breathing consciously into your lower belly if you can (in your own rhythm).
- Can you remember your harmful thoughts about past or present? Are they often the same? Do you feel stuck in the past or scared about the future? Or would you rather be somewhere else? If so, where would you like to be and can you think of a plan, step by step, to make this a reality? Write anything that comes up on a piece of paper or on your phone’s notepad. Your true self just gave you advice on how you can make positive changes in your life!
If you need help with connecting to your true self and manage your stress and anxiety level, please consider booking EFT tapping sessions, Reiki Healing or Reflexology with me, or ask me about a mindfulness workshop.