Awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally. -Kabat-Zinn.
The majority of newly sober folks, or those healing from trauma, spend quite a bit of time thinking about situations and events that are completely irrelevant to the present moment. You might obsess about things you can't change.Guilt. Shame. It could be your past or some impending doom that lurks around the corner in your future. Maybe its just some work drama or the way your spouse treated you last night. Either way, it's a useless waste of your brainpower, yet you can't seem to stop. Sometimes the nonsense even keeps you up at night.
Similarly, with disordered eating, you likely spend the majority of your day obsessing about things that are equally irrelevant to your day. Maybe it's what you had for dinner last night, the number on the scale this morning, the way you look in the mirror., how many calories you've consumed. Once again, not so helpful, and if you're reading this page you're likely wishing you could stop.
Unfortunately, the untrained human mind tends to focus on the future or the past. In trauma, addiction, and disordered eating, this habit becomes more prevalent, sometimes to the point where staying present only seems possible if you participate in unhealthy coping skills like alcohol, overexercise, binge eating, or drugs.
Often times my clients tell me distraction is their only coping skill (From their minds and from their addiction). "As long as I stay busy..." (Fill in whatever it is you are trying to avoid thinking about). This coping skill, while helpful in the short term, doesn't work long term.
The reality is, we can't always be busy. Even if you could be, do you want to be?
Here's where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness based practices can help relieve you from the constant racket in your mind, so you can focus on what really matters, right now. Your family, your job, the vacation you've been planning. Your recovery.