I’m having a bad day
You know that feeling when you just can’t settle down to anything? That anxious feeling, when you chest hurts, your shoulders ache, your head is pounding. And no matter how hard you try to force yourself to do whatever it is you are “supposed to be” doing, you just can’t focus.
You try really hard to knuckle down and concentrate on that important piece of work and for all of about 2 minutes you succeed. Then you see something shiny – and you’re off again. And the daft thing is that the more you try, the less productive you become. And so then you get all stressed about it. The anxiety increases. And so on.
You could say that you will leave it till things are better, until you are less busy, until life calms down. In my case, a few cross words with someone had me chewing it over and over in my head. I would let it escalate and then it’s all I could think of. The problem is, that stuff is always going to happen. Every day something will happen. And depending on my mood, would depend on how I saw the day as being a good one or a bad one. And we all do this. If you focus on the argument you had with the kids at 8.30am all day, then all you see are arguments and you feel like it’s been a bad day when actually, it’s only been 15 minutes or so of actual activity which you build up in your head to something HUGE.
Take a little time out
When our kids are little and they have been naughty, we often use “time out” as a punishment. But as adults, it’s a great reward and a brilliant way to get your focus back. So yesterday, when I was struggling to focus, despite having 600 things I needed to do, I took myself and my dog off to the beach. I feel so lucky to live in Worthing (in Sussex) and to be so near to the sea. The sun was shining and it was incredibly peaceful and calm.
I chose to focus on the beauty of where I was. I chose to be mindful, be in the moment. I saw beautiful patterns in the sand, the waves were very gently ebbing and flowing. I watched a tiny river flow down to the sea as the tide went out and watched the sun reflect beautifully over the huge puddles which were left on the sand. I also saw my dog eat a manky old fish and roll in something stinky. But that’s another story.
We can’t always physically get off to the beach or to the park or wherever you like to go. But you can stop and be mindful wherever you are. Just stop, breathe and notice what’s around you. What can you hear, what can you see or ever smell. Even drinking a cup of coffee or tea can be done mindfully. And when you are done, start again with what you want to do next.
The more you practice this, the easier it becomes and the more enjoyable it becomes.
So go on. Have a mindful moment.