Using Mindfulness for Sticky Situations

A Simple Practice

If you have sticky situations going for you – the kind that run in loops in the back of your mind –  here’s a practice that may be useful. This is a generalised suggestion, you may need to adapt it to your situation. 

Bring to mind any one that may be coming up a lot for you, especially in your quiet moments.

Is it easy to picture the situation but fuzzy to describe in one sentence?
It may likely be an overwhelming situation.
It may also be something you’ve not yet spoken much about, making it difficult to encapsulate easily with words.

Who and what are involved in this situation?
For example, you might be thinking a lot about work but really it involves you, your employer, and completing the commitments that make up this relationship.

How often does this situation run in your mind?
This gives you an indication how much it might be taking up your resources.

Now you can investigate deeper, through the body. 
Release the situation from your mind, and drop into sensing the response in the body. If you’re not used to reading your body, take your time with this. If that still feels difficult, not to worry, you can read on and get a feel anyway. 

How do you feel about this situation in the body?
Does the body feel collapsed, or in overdrive?
Does the body’s energy levels feel low or high?
Are you feeling smaller than you are or bigger?

Collapsed/Low energy:
Is there withdrawal, disconnection, or powerlessness?
This may a sign this situation is too big or vague for you and you may not have enough resources or time to meet its expectations. 
Where could you draw a few clear ideas, structure or resources to make this a manageable situation? Also, are you setting high expectations on yourself?

Overdriven/High energy:
Is there excess rushing, panic, speed?
This is a sign the situation is manageable, but you’ve taken on too much onto your plate. 
What could you do to offload some of the stuff there?

Situations that come up in our minds often do not do so for no reason. Our biology (nervous system) is intelligent enough to bring up things that matter, just that we may not cognitively interpret this in a way that helps us move forward. Quite often they end up going in circles. It doesn’t have to be this way. The clearer you are about your position in the situations, the stronger your sense of self, your worth, clarity and perspective.