"I want to throw my phone out the window of a moving car, but I can't stop watching my newsfeed!" she said as she refreshed her feed once more... "it's just so much...so constant... people I know fighting on Twitter, families not speaking to each other... and who even knows who to trust anymore?!" she said.
“What is going to happen?” seems to be the question on everyone’s mind these days.
What is it like for you to not know?
The unease of not knowing visits all of us repeatedly across the lifespan: at doctor’s visits, on the first day of school, in labor and delivery, across illnesses, on job interviews, when battling addiction, at the loss of a relationship, and before any major change. It's scary and uncomfortable. And it's a part of life, so it would probably serve us well to find helpful ways to get through the tough stuff.
How do you personally deal with times of uncertainty?
>>>This might be a worthwhile question to explore via meditation, journaling, or some other reflective practice! But more on that later...
This post was written as our country began preparations to inaugurate our 45th president. We were (and still are) facing major changes regarding basic human needs such as healthcare, education, security, ecosystems, and employment. We were all wondering: what will it be like on the other side, once it's official?
Becoming mindful of our reactions is crucial in managing the anxiety of it all, but how?
Surprisingly, Slowing Down Can Help
What has helped me (and many of my clients) in times of uncertainty has always been going inward to get in touch with what has always been there: breath and the "wise self" ...our inner GPS and self-regulator that delivers strength, stillness, and courage when we need it most. Turning inward allows us to find the tools and resources that we need to locate comfort, calmness, and knowing-ness when uncertainty seems to be everywhere else in our lives.
A short meditation or other reflective practice, such as journaling or making art for just 15 minutes a day can help you find that stillness and reorient yourself with what you need in these unpredictable days. I encourage you to try it.
As Deepak Chopra says, “you’re doing it right if you’re doing it,” so just try it without judgment or expectations.
A couple helpful tips for getting started:
Find a comfortable, quiet spot and posture (sitting or laying down) so that you're relaxed but alert and outside distractions are minimal.
Set a timer on your phone so you have one less thing to worry about (and put it out of arm's reach, for Pete's sake!). Five minutes is a great place to start if this is completely new to you.
Focus on a question or issue you would like assistance with.
Acknowledge when distracting thoughts come in, wave them goodbye.
Allow for bits of wisdom to bubble up. It's like filtering out all the "chatter" for the good stuff. This is where positive affirmations might suddenly appear like supportive hidden messages from beyond.
Use the meditation resources that are free for you online: http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations, https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/, and calm app, as well as a WP article about art making as meditation.
Just try it. No judgment. You're doing it right if you're doing it.
For more information on working with me in therapy, call 240-630-4224, or click here to set up a free phone consultation.