How to Incorporate the Observing Self in Your Everyday Routine
The Observing Self is an important mental skill learned in Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). You can improve your skill at using these techniques in the same way you improve your skill level in anything in life, practice reps and feedback loops.
1. Exercise and Physical Activity
During exercise or a daily walk, notice what thoughts and feelings come and go. Can you contain them without being them? Take a few notes in your Iphone during and after the experience.
2. Daily Interactions with Others
When your spouse, coworker, child, etc. does the thing that annoys you for the 1,000 time, can you notice the feelings and thoughts that come up without reacting? What other options do you have rather than your typical response which history has proven ineffective.
Write an email to yourself about the experience and schedule it to send a few days later.
3. When Watching the News
When someone comes on the news that disagrees with a belief of yours, can you observe your own inner experience and allow it to be there?
For extra credit: Can you allow that experience to be there and tap into a value of yours that would allow you to really listen to what that other person is saying? What concern are they really expressing? What value might be motivating their thoughts and actions?
4. When Doing Daily Chores
Can you put in a load of laundry, clean a dish, fold your cloths, put gas in your car, or make a meal for someone else while observing what comes up for you? As you observe and allow anything that comes up during the process, can you find the value you are acting on in doing those things? There is always a deep seeded highly motivating value behind everything we do and it is within your ability to find it and allow it to guide you whenever needed.
5. When Holding Someone You Love
The next time you are holding someone you love, can you observe everything that comes up for you and just allow it to be there?
Super Extra Credit: Can you allow yourself to experience all the thoughts and emotions that might come up and still try to make room for the capital T truth that life is short, this embrace will not last forever, and at the end of our lives, this embrace is something no will ever regret.
About the Author
Brian Durbin is the Co-Founder of Synchronicity and Directory of Programming. He has been involved in the fitness and well-being industry for over 20 years, including a previous owner/operator opportunity with Fitness Together in Mount Pleasant, a national spokesperson role for Fitness Together and eventually owning his own company, Develop Fit LLC, an executive coaching and personal training business in Mount Pleasant. He now brings his wealth of wellness and business experience along with his passion for organizational psychology, motivation theory, fitness, and nutrition to help Synchronicity members uncover the energy, focus, and vibrancy they know is possible in their lives.