One of the many reasons it's worth learning to practice mindfulness is because it gives you more choice.
Not necessarily any more choices in what happens to you, but in how you respond to what happens.
For instance, you might feel irritated whenever you're caught in a traffic jam or your train is running late.
Of course getting irritated by such things doesn't help, it's an unpleasant unhelpful state of mind to be in and no matter how irritated and impatient you become it will not clear the traffic of speed up your train. Your irritation can also turn to anger, which might spill out in to your communication, which in turn might have a bad effect on your relationships with others around you.
When you habitually react to certain situations it feels as if that's the only possible reaction to have. For some who always get irritated when stuck in traffic or waiting for a late train, irritation may seem to the natural and reasonable thing to feel.
Traffic jams and late trains equal irritation! This isn't true of course, as the irritated person could verify this by just looking around at other drivers and see that not all are getting irritated, some may be even singling the time away, enjoying a moment before they start their rat wheel day to be.
You can see the there are other ways to choose to respond, which means that we don't have to react in the way that we habitually do.
When you become aware that your irritation isn't actually caused by the traffic or the late train, but is your own personal reaction to it, the choice becomes possible to allow yourself to be irritated as usual or can you respond in a different way?
You may have noticed that I'm using the words react and respond in very specific ways here, reaction is usually not conscious but automatic and habitual while a response is conscious, chosen and creative.
You instinctively resist unpleasant situations even when there's nothing you can do about them, like a traffic jam or late train. Your mind often resorts to desperately trying to find another way, and then when one can't be found, the irritation mounts up!
The first step in moving from reaction to response is to first become aware of it by noticing what's actually happening and what your emotional response is in reaction to the event.
How, well mindfulness of course... Training mind out of your habitual reactive patterns by by focusing on one thing for a fixed period of time to bring you in to the present moment.
A really great way to do this is with your senses and by coming in to your body.
Your body acts as an anchor holding you steady in the often crazy tidal waves of your stormy thoughts...
Use grounding essential oils such as Cedar wood, Siberian fir or doTERRAS Balance blend to help you focus, ground and relax here.
Come to a seated position, shoulders relaxed with a straight back.
Take 3 deep inhales and on the 3rd follow your breath in through your nostrils and follow the breath down down your body and in to your feet.
Coming to feel your feet from the inside out.
Use your sense of touch to feel the material of your socks or shoes, and feel your skin, muscles and bones. Even see if you can feel the blood moving through your veins.
Hold your focus here, allowing your physical sensations and experience to anchor you in to your body and this very moment.
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