Curiosity in Mindfulness

So, you know how I wrote about my mind kind of being all over the place with the upcoming move and the end of my internship?

Exactly.

I’m also feeling the push of applying for jobs. I sent Jesse a text today being quite whiny about how dehumanizing looking for a job has become. I feel like I’m just some cog, without the needed credentials, with a resume that I don’t want to input into a thousand tiny boxes, and with a cover letter that is frustratingly perfect and still ignored. See? I’m beginning to lose it, people.

Being that I’m in the thick of a job search, I’m on LinkedIn more so than usual and I found a fascinating article about mindfulness. I’m having a hard time staying mindful these days and I’m also finding those sneaky negative thoughts I get every once in a while are creeping up on me as I embark on this next life adventure. I was really happy I found this article.

Sometimes basic mindfulness isn’t enough for some of us. I can sit here all day at my computer and be “in the moment,” finding I really hate the moment and I have like 45 million more moments like this before I find a job and I’m working in Seattle.

In the article, the author conveys Dr. Judson Brewer’s work on neural and behavioral changes from a mindfulness practice. The big piece she focuses on is making things new and exciting again by practicing curiosity. Dr. Brewer mentions the first premise of mindfulness, which is to not believe everything we think. I’ve addressed that before on this blog, but I was happy the article also reviewed the values behind this practice.

So the next piece was to get curious. So how do we get curious and rid ourselves of our nasty or unwelcome thoughts? Well, first we have to go back to the things that made us curious as children or the things that makes us want to understand things now. For example, I am fascinated by nutrition. Often, I’ll just Google stuff about nutrition facts, supplements, or mental health disorders treated with dietary changes. I’m just so curious!

Dr. Brewer recommends I take this curiosity and apply it to my thoughts, he said “When you have a worry thought, instead of pushing it away, like we usually try to do, say to yourself, ‘Woah, where did this come from?’ ‘What does my body feel like when I have this thought?’” Investigate it without reacting to it.

That is something I feel I already do because I am a counselor, but I am also someone who likes order. My problem has always been my desire to label and categorize things as good or bad, right or wrong, worthwhile or pointless, etc. Hi, my name is Jen and sometimes I suffer from binary thinking.

So, I need to investigate without reacting, which for me means I need to just examine the thought and find it interesting, even humorous that something so silly could pop into my head. From there, I need to just let it go. I need to stop feeding it, per se, and I just need to chuckle to myself. “Oh, what a silly thought!”

Hope this helps some of you make it to the weekend. I know it did for me.

Some other awesome articles I read today:

1. Google Teaches Employees To ‘Search Inside Yourself’

2. SuperBetter: Jane McGonigal and the Gamification of Recovery

3. How to Make Work Really, Really Fun



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Brilliant Ideas, Individual, Mind, Theory
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.