Mindfulness: Feelings vs. Actions

in #bloglast year

Schedules and plans have never been useful tools for me because I always forget the plan in-the-moment. Instead, I have been trying to practice mindfulness. The idea is that I will not need a schedule because I will be fully aware of what I am doing and how I feel at all times. I may not do everything that I would LIKE to do, but at least I will do everything I NEED to do.

While practicing mindfulness, I recognized a duality of concerns; there is a difference between being mindful of FEELINGS and being mindful of ACTIONS.

Mindfulness of feelings involves reflecting internally in the present moment and determining how that should impact your future actions. For example, if I notice I have the most energy before 2 PM then I should front-load my day with my most difficult tasks. I won't schedule these tasks, but I will ask myself, "What is the hardest thing I want to do today?" and work on that task first. When I notice my energy falling in the late afternoon, I will switch to an easier task. The easier task might not be the most important but it is one that you can still accomplish effectively at your low-energy level.

Conversely, mindfulness of actions involves projecting how your actions in the present moment will make you feel in the future. Not feeling like doing an action in-the-moment (e.g. exercise) may suggest that this falls under "mindfulness of feelings" and not exercise. However, applying mindfulness of actions requires you to look at the future feeling as well. If you know that exercising will make you feel better in the long-term then you should still do it, even if you do not feel like it now.

These two aspects of mindfulness are not separate and usually flow together. Feelings flow into actions that flow o feelings. I hope that understanding the two aspects of mindfulness will help in its implementation.