I get it. Most people visit blogs because they want to learn more about a topic. Heck, I do that all the time – What would happen if I went through a black hole? Why do babies look like old men in renaissance paintings? Are scientists 100% positively, incredibly certain the Megalodon shark isn’t extinct?
I experience and explore mindfulness, express gratitude and practice meditation in my own free time. I enjoy researching and reading about aligning your chakras, the law of attraction, all that good stuff.
That’s about the brunt of my expertise.
I’m not saying you won’t learn anything by reading my blog. (Dumb blog, didn’t teach me anything).
But I will be straight with you.
I am not an expert on meditation, mindfulness, enlightenment or mental health. I am not a trained meditation teacher, though perhaps one day I will be. I am not a medical health professional, I am not a psychologist, nor am I a doctor (Have I lost you yet? Hey i’m just being honest!). I also will never claim to have all of the answers to stopping overthinking, anxiety and worry (if a full-stop of any of those is even possible, which I don’t believe it is). Help a gal out if you do have the answers though, cause uh… my brain’s on fire, yo.
What I am is a human in progress. Not a work in progress, a human in progress. Some days I’m like friggin’ Snow White with the blue birds circling her head as she wakes up all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Other days my head feels one step forward, two steps back. Sometimes the practice of journaling it out and “meditating out my ass” as I described it to my therapist, doesn’t cut it, so I then like to get creative, go for walks, talk it out with friends. I occasionally deal with things as well thanks to the help of my true loves, Ben & Jerry, or with a glass of wine… or two… or three…
In all seriousness, my mental health, especially overthinking, has held me back from reaching my potential. I know that sounds cliche’ and to my credit, I feel I have been successful in many ways so far in my short 27 years of life. But at the same time, I focus a lot of my energy on the potential negative outcomes of a situation, the worst case scenarios, the fears of what could go wrong. It makes sense if I am regularly in that mindset, then I will always be stuck at a certain point.
My sticky thoughts have eroded and ruined potential and existing relationships. I have entered into new relationships when I definitely was not mentally stable or emotionally prepared to be hopping into them. I was not able to be a strong, happy, confident, sassypants’d, supportive gal who was there for her partner. Now that I am single, I can reflect and recognize this – how can you emotionally invest your time and energy into the well-being and care of someone else, when you haven’t been emotionally invested in yourself to begin with? Despite it making simple sense (“you have to learn to love yourself first, before you love someone else” so the saying goes), I still find this to be an incredibly profound thought.
My mental health has also made me an unhappy, emotionally insecure person, which makes me feel quite sad and vulnerable to admit.
I deal with self-sabotage, I deal with insecurities, I deal with beating myself up more than I should if/when I mess up. As a result, it sometimes feels like the knowledge and practices I attempt to acquire and apply in my spare time, all pour out through my ear canals, and the information is lost. Normally when this happens, I fall back into old, stuck patterns of reacting before responding, when really… it should be the other way around. Thus, the process repeats itself.
But to overcome moments of stress, anxiety and overthinking, and to truly notice my negative thought patterns and behaviors, I recognize that working on myself is something which requires consistency – consistency through meditation, therapy, expressing gratitude and living in the present. I can’t expect new, healthier, positive patterns of thought and behavior to stick if i’m not consistent in practicing them. So while my mind may be smoking/on fire from overthinking, at the same time I can consistently work at being a metaphorical fire extinguisher to my mind and it’s thoughts.
I think at the same time allowing myself some wiggle room, practicing and allowing the space for self-compassion towards myself, my mind and my life, and recognizing that there is a certain grace in failure, would do me some good as well. Moving through the process of failure, knowing I will fail (it’s inevitable), and when it does, recognize that it is okay in the grand scheme of life. Of course, it’s the shits in the moment, but at the end of the day, I am only human.
This at the same time as being so mentally consumed by the fact that I mixed up my words and my sentence came out weird to my co-worker four hours ago when we were talking in the lunch room about our weekend plans and i’m over here convinced she thinks I don’t know proper English and i’m Still.Thinking.About.It. (HOW RELATABLE IS THAT).
Despite all of that, the big, heckin’ mess of being human… what I do know, is that I find myself embracing and loving the wonderful practice of meditation and all of the benefits it offers. I am passionate about the subject and I am passionate in sharing my lived experience, my dealings with mental health, how it has been more harmful than helpful, but ultimately what I am doing to improve it.
Be like Dwight Schrute – extinguish that which no longer serves you .
(overthinking thoughts, anxiety, colleagues who plank).