It's safe to assume that most of us who have a cheating partner now suddenly struggle with anxiety and racing and obsessive thoughts. Anxiety can exhaust you and have a serious impact on your body. Stop, now don't go getting anxious about being anxious, please. :) I want to share with you how mindfulness can help you with your affair recovery.
Mindfulness, It's the world's most simple and most difficult thing to do. Let me explain. Look at your hand. See the lines and colors of your skin? Easy, right? High five! You were just being mindful!
That was easy, but we are talking about facing the severe trauma and pain of adultery. It's much more difficult to bring open mindfulness to your deep and real suffering, isn’t it? We know how hard it is to heal after being cheated on and believe that no one deserves to live a broken life. You can do this! Here are a few ways to get started on your own mindfulness practices.
Doodle or color
Set aside a couple minutes to doodle, I kid you not. You’ll get the creative juices flowing and let your mind take a break. Don't feel too creative? No problem, invest in an adult coloring book. This way you can focus your mind and feel like you have accomplished something.
Go for a walk
Being outside does wonders for anxiety. Pay attention to the sounds around you, the feel of the wind against your skin, and the smells around you. Ditch your phone and try your best to stay in this moment. Focus on the wind against your skin, the smells all around you. Maybe just start with a short stroll and see how that leaves you feeling.
This is my favorite thing to do ever! I constantly catch myself telling my daughters to look up. Not just from those pesky screens in front of your face, but at the sky. Whether you are getting the mail or coming home late from work, pause and take a few deep breaths as you look up at the sky. When I look at the sky, I can remember that I am smaller than I feel, that life is way bigger than my worries.
One thing at a time
Try doing one thing at a time. This is especially hard for us multi-tankers who love to do four things at a time. (Me.) You can start small with this, try setting a timer for five minutes and focus on doing only one thing. No multitasking. Bust out your to-do list and just focus on one thing.
Sounds basic, but it's so awesome! Take 1-3 minutes and simply breathe. Just focusing on your deep breaths leaves you feeling lighter. Mindfulness is difficult for me, so I have to use prompts to help. I like the app Stop, Breathe & Think for iPhone (click here for android.) Make time to do this once a day, try before bedtime. This is a great way to start becoming mindful after an affair. Another good practice is to write the word "breathe" on a notecard and tape it to the dashboard of your car. Anytime you are stopped at a stop light, simply take deep breaths.
Ditch the phone
Do you really need to bring your phone with you into every room of your house? When you go potty? When you eat? Leave your phone in the car (this is my go to) or at least the other room. Instead of fiddling with a phone, sit and breathe before you eat. Take a moment for yourself and your business in the bathroom. Your phone will still be there when you’re done, I promise.
I think that journaling really saved me those first six months after finding out about my husband's affairs. It was a safe place to get all of my feelings out. I could just say it all, no filter needed. There is no right or wrong way to journal. It's just the act of putting all the mess in my head on paper, helps empty my mind and calm my racing thoughts. You could also try a gratitude journal or simply jot down the three best things that happened today.
Being mindful is about paying attention. We rush through our days and our lists every darn day. The business and rushing only adds to our anxiety, let's slow the heck down, and start consistently adding little pieces of mindfulness to our day.