Win the Fight through Mindfulness
You may have heard of “mindfulness” before. In recent years, it’s become a buzzword that has taken on a lot of different meanings. At the Younique Foundation, we define mindfulness as the ability to focus on empowering thoughts and feelings while choosing to coexist and not give undue attention to nonproductive thoughts and feelings.
So what does that mean? Mindfulness is being present in the moment. Mindfulness is letting the good thoughts have a presence in your mind. Mindfulness is noticing when bad thoughts come, recognizing them for what they are, and letting them be.
Mindfulness means that you have the power to choose what thoughts and feelings stick with you, despite the sexual trauma you’ve experienced. You can’t change the past, but you can learn how to manage it. Managing doesn’t mean minimizing what you’ve been through. It means empowering yourself to realize how strong you are and acknowledging your ability to navigate through your thoughts and feelings.
When you’re triggered, mindfulness will allow you to choose how you respond. It’s not about stopping thoughts or fighting them. Instead, it’s about observing them for what they are, without judgment, and moving on.
We have thousands of thoughts a day. Chances are, if you’re a sexual abuse survivor, you have thoughts you wish would just go away! That’s where mindfulness can help you. If you can stay grounded in the present instead of fighting or focusing on thoughts of the past, you can move forward on your healing journey.
The next time you feel yourself getting lost in negative or unhealthy thoughts, read the prompts below and say the answers to yourself OUT LOUD. This mindfulness tool will help you stay grounded in the present and not be pulled back by the past.
- Where am I right now? (Be as precise as you can.)
- What time, day, and date is it?
- What am I doing right now?
- What am I feeling in my body right now? (Say out loud exactly where you are feeling a sensation.)
- What emotions am I feeling right now? (What word or words would best describe your feelings?)
- What purpose am I pursuing right now? (Are you on your way home from work, working on a project, heading to the store?)
- What action can I take right now that would benefit another person?
- What can this precise moment teach me?
- Look around you and notice everything that is a color you choose.
- Look for a bird in flight. (Keep this thought in your awareness until you see a bird sometime today.)
Asking yourself these questions is just one example of the type of exercises that can help you be mindful and stay grounded. There are many others that can help you stay focused in the present. Check out the mindfulness section in our Reclaim Hope book and workbook for other ideas.
Practicing mindfulness will help you as you work on becoming whole again. Be patient with yourself. You’re doing the best you can in this moment, and that’s amazing!