The other day I learned workaholism is a sign of codependency, which makes sense because I’ve struggled with manifestations of both most of my life. I mention this to you because recently I have been noticing over and over again how I shy away from pleasure, play and nourishment for the sake of work. I will skip meals because I need to finish a project and work long after my body and mind need a break for no other reason than I think “I have to get this done…”.
By mindfully tuning in to what is going on in my body and mind, I have begun the process of accepting that this hyper focus on work is harming me. Through mindfulness practices — mainly meditation and journaling, I have come to understand that the why behind this maladaptive habit is the need for control. If I just work harder and longer and give more of myself, then I will be more in control of the outcome (false). Just like a codependent relationship where I give my all to someone for very little in return, I can only control what I can control which is not outward success or external validation, but the way I relate to myself.
I mention this vignette to you, because as much as I love mindfulness and feel it is the catalyst for deeper self understanding, connection and love, no amount of mindful observation can take the place of action.
Turning inward and developing an awareness of what is going on inside the body, mind and spirit will not always lead to tangible change unless paired with some form of outward expression.
In other words, you can use mindfulness to help you see how to love yourself but then you have to actually go about and do the loving.
I can’t just wish away my workaholic tendencies, I have to act differently too.
To that end, I’ve compiled 5 different tips to help you move from a mindfulness practice of awareness and understanding (a wonderful and great place to be) to a mindfulness practice that can also help you make intentional change in your life.
1) Know You are Already Enough
Before you begin to make intentional changes in your life, it’s important to remember compassion. The habits of mind you’ve created, however maladaptive, served a purpose. They…