So I’m using an example here of shopping. So, while walking around Ikea like in a trance looking at all the stuff,,, so much stuff pulling your attention here, there and everywhere…look at me…look at me… all the stuff just zapping you, completely losing all track of time. Everything so tantalising and alluring. Before you know it 2 hours have went passed and realise you've completely forgotten what actually you came to the shop for. So you stop to check what time it is and nearly keel over surprised that over 2 hours have passed by, its like your in a time warp, been zapped into the future… thinking; how can that be, Ive only just got here, but by golly I feel knackered. So you get yourself together and sit on one of the Ikea chairs and think right, I need to be out of here in ten minutes challenge Aneka. Quickly find an Ikea sales person and eventually after running about in circles looking for the desks, the shelf unit and a few random bits (that when you get home say why did I even buy these) and then you’ve manage to push the trolley out of the store. What planned to be a half hour visit to Ikea ended up being a 4 hour visit. And why did it happen, why did we lose that time and get sucked into the trance like mode that actually happens many times; when shopping, on the computer, scrolling through reviews or holiday ideas. So lets get better at not getting into that trance like mode and be really conscious of what mode of thinking we are in from the doing mode to the being mode so attention is on the now and we are enjoying rather than striving to get something and doing, doing, doing,,, which helps to be in the moment and be attentive to what’s going on so we can prevent our stress levels creeping up and flooding our bodies with cortisol and adrenalin.
Writing in a journal about what your thankful for and what makes you happy is very helpful as it really helps to focus on what's important so the less important things wont zap you; like Ikea moments/hours….which frankly can be stressful if your not in the moment and know why your there in the first place.
To help endeavours to not be zapped and enjoy the right now you can try a number of things which are listed below:
- 1 Journal - write and write and write (whats important to you, your values, dreams & hopes, your qualities, affirmations, questions you want to mull over…)
- 2 Reflect - re-evaluate what really makes you happy which helps uncover what's less important and ensures your spending your time wisely and provides focus.
- 3 Gratitude - remind yourself everyday what your thankful for and give thanks - such as; giving thanks to your body and how amazing it is and how much you appreciate all the things you are able to do.
- 4 Dance - feel good activity that’s really grounding and expressive.
- 5 Affirmations - write positive uplifting affirmations and read them regularly preferably in front of a mirror.
- 6 Breathe - regularly take conscious deep breaths throughout the day and really notice your body as you do this - as if your breathe is going all the way down to your toes and back up again through your body.
- 7 Noticing - stop to notice how your feeling and what you need if your not feeling as you want to be - so if your feeling a bit stressed ask the question - 'what do I need right now to feel less stressed' and whatever comes back take action - so it might be to give yourself a lovely big hug and affirm how amazing you are and acknowledge your dong the best you can.
- 8 Walk - take a walk in nature and notice how amazing the world is - the vastness of the sky, the miracle of life, the trees, the smells, the sounds,, really notice the amazement of the natural world.
- 9 Vision - create a vision board to capture where you see yourself in 1, 2, 3 or 5 years time (it doesn’t matter the timelime). Use cut out images, words from magazines, draw, use photographs - use whatever inspires you and transports your imagination to your vision and makes your vision really come alive. Hang your vision board somewhere you will see it often and will serve as a steer to help keep you in the right direction towards your vision.
- 10 Enjoy the journey and don’t worry about the destination - swap longing for living.
So are we all more dominant on the doing side? I think so. With all the latest gadgets and mod cons and this constant on digital age its no wonder as its infectious and before we know it we are going from doing one to thing to another. Its exhausting and eventually will make us feel burnt out. So can we escape thing doing mode of mind? - I think so. And it doesn’t involve burning your laptop and smartphone. In fact it involves doing very little - other than noticing when the mind is in this potentially harmful mode and gently escort your attention to what is happening right now - the 'being' mode.
'The being mode is not devoted to achieving particular goals. In this mode, there is no need to emphasise discrepancy-based processing or constantly to monitor and evaluate. Instead the focus of the being mode is accepting and allowing what is, without any immediate pressure to change it' - Ahhhhhh & Be Relaxed and Breathe
(Mindfulness - Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale).
The mind can only be in one gear at a time; the doing or the being gear. Some steps to change gear from Doing to Being are:
- Notice: Just take little check points throughout your day to notice if your doing or being. Sometimes it will feel like the doing mode has trapped you such as noticing all of a sudden your in a trance walking around a shop without even noticing that you’ve been in the shop for like 3 hours or whatever!... You could use little reminders such as placing stickers where they’ll be seen; maybe on your fridge, on your computer. Whenever you see the reminders ask yourself, 'what mode of mind am I in right now?
- When you’ve caught yourself in doing mode just bring yourself back to the present and notice how your feeling, notice the sounds around you, notice any sensations, notice your breath and any thoughts you maybe having. Take some deep breaths and maybe either use your breath as an anchor or a pebble that has a little anchor word such as; 'NOW', 'BEING', 'HERE', 'NOTICE', BREATHE', ATTENTION', 'ENERGY'.