The holiday season is a time filled with fun plans and expectations, frustrations and disappointments. I have had experience with all of these emotions over the past few weeks. It seemed like I would get a plan set, only to have the rug pulled out from under me. I’d have to start all over again.
I was able to get through these challenges and move on. However, I know that a few years ago I might have gotten through, but moving on would have been difficult. I would have likely gotten stuck in the negative emotions that came with the frustration and disappointment.
Several years ago I read the book Taming Your Gremlins: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way, by Rick Carson, and things began to change. Carson talks about the gremlin as the “narrator in your head …intent on making you miserable”
So, when things fell through, my gremlin could have gone to town. He could have told me how stupid those other people were, or how ridiculous I was, or if they really cared about me those things would have never happened. That tape could have played over and over, causing me to relive those awful moments over and over.
Why didn’t that happen?
Over the last several years I have incorporated practices into my life that help protect me from the wrath of my gremlin. It started with trying to just notice the narrator in my head. A little while later I found the meditations app Headspace and gradually increased the amount of time I listened to their guided meditations. Most recently, I participated in an 8 week Mindfulness Meditation course (MBSR).
Just like exercise helps build and maintain physical health, mindfulness helps to build and maintain brain health. Like the rest of my body, my brain needs all support it can get!
As we enjoy the holiday season along with the ups and downs that are part of life, I hope that you can incorporate some regular practices that will help you to enjoy the ups more and pay less attention to the downs.