Mindfulness Training for Health and Wellbeing

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One of the benefits of undertaking a mindfulness practice is you get an opportunity to notice how you give yourself a hard time. This can take the form of aversion, self hate, negative self judgment that are often revealed in the thoughts that we have about ourselves and the emotions that accompany them. This kind of mental activity may not be all that obvious depending on how well you know the inner topography of your mind and being.

Through the practice of mindfulness meditation, you will start to see these mental and emotional patterns more clearly. Consider that these patterns may have been hatched in your mind a long time ago and become habitual. In my case, I can recall many beliefs and opinions that were formed as a teenager that are no longer relevant for today and yet, they can often surface and create havoc with my wellbeing. It can be quite valuable to take some time to listen and get to know this inner dialogue and to make a choice to stop beating yourself up.

How to do this?

Recall that a lot of negative self-judgment appears in our thoughts. In the practice of mindfulness and meditation, negative thoughts will often set up an inner struggle, often characterized by a desire to get rid of these thoughts. In a formal mindfulness practice, you can learn how to relate to thoughts differently, rather than spend time trying to get rid of them. Consider that thoughts are being generated all the time by your mind and you can make a conscious choice to relate to them as “just thoughts” and to let go of the tendency to see them as “the truth” about you.

Another way to stop beating yourself up is to be more mindful of your inner standards and expectations. Consider that personal standards that are ideal will always set yourself up to see yourself as “less”. No one is perfect and part of the challenge is to give up striving for an ideal that is impossible for anyone to achieve.