when I look back, one of the most important things I have learned is mindfulness. it was a game changer. sure, I thought, that I am living a life full of awareness. we all think, that we are the maker of our life. but is that true? when we pause for a second we might realize, that there is something else the „head“ of ourself: our head over our self!
scientist have discovered, that 95% of our brain activity is out of our awareness. let this sink for a moment. sure, there is the movement of our pupils, the non-conscious alignment of informations, our brain tries to match memories with events in the present, new faces are tried to be categorized: is this person a friend or an enemy? all this and so much more happens every second of our life. we couldn’t do anything, if we would be aware of all this.
but there is so much more, that sank into our un-consciousness, that we should bring back to the surface. and this is, where mindful practices start.
one very effective method are the tree most important questions to bring more mindfulness into your life.
1. what do I feel right now?
how often do you experience, that you feel jealous or angry (or some other emotion) and before you recognize, you address these emotions to someone outside? maybe your partner or children, even your pets, room-mates or strangers. though emotions have such a huge impact on our life, we don’t give them the space, that they need, to be felt and recognized. instead we get overwhelmed and don’t see the impact, that these emotions have.
by naming your emotions, you don’t try to change them, but you take responsibility and make them less powerful. it´s the beginning of being mindful.
when you have asked „what do I feel right now?“, try to find 2-3 words for your emotions. try to avoid blanket words like „sad“ or „angry“ and dive a little deeper: there are so much more emotions, than we speak of every day! I want to give you a glimpse:
strong, brave, prepared, peaceful, glad, amused, joyful, depressed, heavy, wounded, betrayed, damaged, criticized, motivated, focused, creative…
when you named and described your emotion, ask again „what do I feel right now?“. has something changed?
through this practice, we don’t need to numb ourself, to avoid those overwhelming feelings. we bring them to the surface.
2. what do I think?
emotions are a result of our thoughts. by naming our emotions, we make our first step, by following them to their roots, we start to understand, what happens in our subconsciousness.
these two questions have been a game changer for me. whenever I sense an unpleasant emotion, I can take some deep breaths and ask myself: „what do I think?“. and voilá: most times the same thoughts caused the same unpleasant emotions. it wasn’t someone else, who made me feel sad or frustrated, jealous or anxious, but my own thoughts.
our thoughts trigger our emotions, because we linked them in the past.
the problem is: the process of thinking -> emotions works in a fraction of a second. and this happens all day long and we don’t even recognize it. we just sense our emotions or even worse: we just get into action. thoughts tigger emotions and they lead to actions.
again our head is the driver of our self.
by taking some deep breaths, asking: „what do I think?“, we invite more mindfulness, break the chain and get control over our actions. because our emotions are strong signals! please do not misunderstand me: this is not about suppressing our emotions! it is about being mindful and aware of what we think and which emotions are caused by these thoughts.
which leads me to the third question:
3. is it true?
we tend to believe everything we think. thoughts -> emotions -> actions. even if we think, we are acting authentic, we might be driven by thoughts, that are just not true.
most of our belief systems are based on deep habit patterns and experiences in the past. our way of thinking is formed over years, which makes it even harder to overcome them. but by asking these three questions, we bring an important mindfulness into our daily life, that can bring long lasting change.
the time t o change those patterns and habits is…NOW! and the best way to do so is asking this question: „is it true?“.
when we a thought crosses our mind, we have the choice to believe it or not. by asking ourself, if it is true, we stop for a second and get in control of the situation. this third question can be divided in very specific further questions:
- am I sure?
- can I prove it?
- what would be the opposite?
you mind wants to work, so why not giving it some productive tasks?
let me give you an example. I was master of thinking „I am not good enough in it.“, so I didn’t even started with my own business see with your body. when I started to deepen my meditation practice and mindfulness, I asked myself:
- am I sure? -> well… how could I?
- can I prove it? -> not without trying
- what would be the opposite? -> I give all my heart and passion into it and that’s the success of my business
and based on this, form your new affirmation. in my case: I am good enough! and here I am, offering my soul business to you.
and what about thoughts, that seem to be caused by other people? like:
- they don’t like me
- s/he is mad with me
- s/he is in love with someone else/betraying me?
- they want to offend me
ask yourself the three questions and communicate about your feelings and thoughts
#what do I feel right now? -> I am desperate. -> #what do I think? -> I think, she is mad with me -> „is it true?“ -> „I don’t know!“
your communication would be: „I am feeling a strong emotion right now. it makes me desperate, but I want to communicate about it. I thought you might be mad with me, but I don’t know. is it true?“
this is mindful communication. it is not „you are making me desperate!“ nor do you walk old thinking paths. by asking these three questions, you have the chance to dive deeper and find the source of your habits. why do you think, that someone else is mad with you? is it a common thought of you?
be brave to start asking! if you’d like to have more support, don’t hesitate to contact me for your individual meditation coaching.
P.S: I´ve worked out a sheet for you, to have these questions present! if you want some extra inspiration nugget, subscribe to my newsletter to get the access to this extra material.