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How Mindfulness Helped Me Drop Bad Habits

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Almost everyone will admit they have areas or habits in their lives they feel can be better than they are at the moment. Some people may feel they can be more kind and compassionate, others feel they can be more assertive, and others feel they can be more peaceful and happy.

For me, a few years ago, I felt I could be less angry and explosive. I was short-tempered and would often result in very cruel words which I didn’t think through well or just simply be violent. And this was not something I enjoyed at all. 

I tried a couple of anger management techniques to see if they could help but they were barely helpful. When I almost gave up on this character improvement project, it’s when I discovered mindfulness and went on to work with it to overcome this problem.

A Clear Breakdown of How I Used Mindfulness to Conquer Anger

Step 1. Research about mindfulness and get to know it

Although I had a rough idea of awareness, I decided to do deep research on it so that I would have concrete detailed information on the practice. I used reliable sources of information online for learning about mindfulness which are credible and authoritative in the self-improvement industry. 

I also read books, visited self-help websites, watched videos, and listened to podcasts on mindfulness. 

Step 2. Figure out an approach plan and where to start 

After my research, I tried to figure out how I could apply it practically in my life. I had learned that mindfulness meditation was a form of training in mindfulness so I only found it natural to begin mindfulness by training myself through meditation.

My approach plan was to start with the meditation practice and later on try out other mindfulness techniques to increase my moments of mindfulness and increase its effects in my life.

Step 3. Get started with mindfulness meditation immediately

After having a vision and a plan of how to approach things, I made the effort of beginning the meditation practice right away. I used guided meditation resources for mindfulness meditation to help me learn how to do the meditation practice and also have a feel of what mindfulness is like. I began meditating for 5 minutes and slowly increased the duration as I got comfortable. This is an important step because most people don’t take it. They never get started at all.

Step 4. Aim to get better with every meditation session

After a couple of meditation sessions, I noticed that, since I was still a beginner, I was making a lot of mistakes which included feeling weighed down by the practice and feeling like it was too much work to do, just to name a few. So I researched more about the problems from people who have experienced the same in the past, found effective solutions for them, and began applying them as I aimed to make some improvements in every session. Online meditation communities and forums helped me find the solutions to my meditation problems.

“Mindfulness is the kind of light that shows us the way. It is the living Buddha inside of each of us. Mindfulness gives birth to insight, awakening, compassion, and love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Step 5. Reflect and visualize about solving the problem you have

My goal was to control my anger to the point where it couldn’t affect me even when I was told anything that might trigger negative reactions. I desired to be told something that felt insulting and not even flinch. So I would reflect every so often on how I wanted my life to be. I would think about the specific problems that are brought by the anger and I would try to look for solutions. And then I would visualize myself applying those solutions in the needed areas. I would consciously tell my mind that the visualized solution is exactly how I’m going to be doing things in my life going forward. Doing that helped me remember to be aware of myself when such times came and made applying the solutions much easier since I had already established in my mind, through visualization, exactly how I wanted things to be.

Step 6. Put in personal effort consistently to apply the solution

Now applying the solution every time isn’t easy. The first few times might be a bit easy but making them stick and become your second nature is quite hard. What I found to help with the issue of consistency and habit creation is that you have to view the solution like a new habit you’re going to form that’s going to stick with you forever. 

So when you apply it the first few times successfully, you should still remind yourself that it’s what you’re going to do again when you’re in the same situation in the near future. I reminded myself and followed it up with physical effort. If I came across anything I knew might make me angry, I would try to be aware of myself and my emotions and then remind myself what I decided to be doing, and then I would act upon it immediately. Sometimes, I would choose to walk away, and other times I would keep quiet and discipline myself to not speak at all.

Step 7. Aim to be aware of yourself

Based on my personal experiences, I have learned that being always aware of yourself, not just when you want to solve a problem in your life, but every other moment really helps. Awareness helps you not get into that problem in the first place so that you avoid having to solve it after it has already affected your life. 

However, being always aware is pretty hard and needs a lot of work. I achieved it by doing mindfulness meditation daily for 10 to 20 minutes to start with.

I also worked with mindful listening and speaking when I was having conversations with other people, mindful working when working, mindful walking when commuting to work or generally any time I was walking, mindful eating during my meal times, and mindful showering when taking a bath. Ideally, taking any chance you get to be aware and fully maximize it. 

However, before I got to use these other mindfulness techniques, I only worked with mindfulness meditation and visualization to be aware of myself when trouble came and then used the other mindfulness techniques to be always aware of myself.

Moreover, I’d take my time in the evenings to review how my day was and how I did with regard to calming down my anger. And I’d visualize how I would approach the next day when I had the same anger problems. I’d take different versions of scenarios that would get me angry and see myself handling them much better without being lost in emotions. Doing this helped me remember automatically how to behave when I got into such situations.

To achieve all that I was dedicated, committed, disciplined, and focused on making a permanent change. Eventually, it worked!

David Oscar is a huge meditation and mindfulness enthusiast. He is also a mental health researcher and the editor of IYBP (Improve Your Brain Power), a website that shares legitimate and effective ways to improve the power and function of the brain.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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