How do you handle the storms and dramas of life? Mindful practice in midst of high drama. A common practice for many people during tough times is to exhibit unusual behaviors (excessive eating, drinking or attitude changes).
Obesity is a major problem in the US and developing nations around the globe. When people are stressed, they tend to eat what is known as SFS foods (salty, fat or sugary foods). These foods are empty nutritionally but loaded with calories. When stressed, food quality goes out the window for SFS food quantity.
Alcohol believed to relieve stress could produce the opposite affect. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, which could lead to poor decisions. The depressant nature of alcohol causes many to feel worst than before they began drinking. Stressfulness plus consuming a depressants is not a winning combination. Lastly, either because we have eaten a bunch of crappy foods or drank our self into a worst state of mind, our attitude may change. We might become abrasive, abusive or obnoxious. Unusual behaviors mask our inner turmoil and hide our internal conflict.
Stay in the Storm
We are taught from childhood to suppress our internal conflicts; don’t think about, just let it go, move on, etc. Mindfulness teaches the practice of staying. Can you stay during an emotional storm? Can you stay within the drama? Can you identify the drama without attaching your identity with the drama? Example, “this is fear” instead of “I am afraid.” We learn to stay in the emotional storm by first remembering to focus on the breath. By focusing on the breath, we stay in the moment. It is a surreal experience to be in the moment while the mind is in full blown dramatic crisis.
Don’t try to deny that you are having an emotional episode. Rather experience the episode possibly like you have never done before. If the episode is fear based (most are) do not run from or attempt to think of something else; focus on the breath, keep the fearful thought and begin to examine, look under the hood (so to speak), kick the tires, see what make it tick. Do this while focusing on the breath.
The first time you accomplish this practice of mindfulness, you will feel like God. The world will shrink and you will expand. You have entered the realm of ego tripping. The ego takes us on frequent trips; when we pat our self on the back or when we kick our self in the butt. Do not be alarmed and do not judge yourself. Mindfulness is a practice, there is no ending in site.
Once you realize you have been ego tripping, remember to recommit to focusing on the breath.