Mindfulness, self-regulation, and self-care are more than just popular buzzwords in modern popular psychology.
Taken individually, they are powerful tools that can help you deal with the hardships of day to day life.
When put together, they can serve as a powerful tool in combating the troubles of everyday life. Read on to find out how.
What is what?
Mindfulness is the ability of the mind to be completely present at the moment. Someone mindful is fully present, aware of the time and place, as well as the feelings they experience.
Keep in mind that being mindful doesn’t mean being utterly passive regarding your surroundings. Quite the opposite, mindfulness is the ability to react to things as they come, instead of dreading the future or obsessing over something that happened in the past.
Self-care is any sort of activity we do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, or physical health. Self-care helps elevate the mood and reduce anxiety, as well as improving interpersonal relationships. Even though self-care is essential, it doesn’t give you blank permission to spoil yourself rotten or ignore the needs of those near and dear to you. Proper self-care means learning how to satisfy your needs so you’ll be able to help others.
This is where the third part of our wellbeing trinity steps in. Self-regulation is the fine art of finding the perfect balance between the need to instantly react to the things happening around us and finding a socially acceptable way to do it. This can be quite tricky as it requires managing your emotions, thoughts, and actions.
It is similar to mindfulness since its primary goal is to manage disruptive emotions and impulses in order to help us achieve greater happiness in the long run. Higher levels of emotion regulation bring both high levels of social competence and the expression of socially appropriate emotions.
How to combine mindfulness and self-care?
Mindfulness is not about clearing your head completely. Its aim is not to stop you from thinking and lead you into a state of forced calm. On the contrary, it is all about knowing what is on your mind and focusing your attention on what is going on inside your mind and in the world around you.
Being mindful also implies that you should practice self-care: approach your thoughts, experiences, and emotions with the same kindness you would devote to someone else’s. The ability to accept yourself with no judgment is a crucial component of self-care.
Mindfulness and self-regulation
By now, you might have figured out on your own that mindfulness and self-regulation are strikingly similar. In fact, you could say that the two concepts go hand in hand since emotional self-regulation is the ability to manage disruptive thoughts and impulses.
At a glance, self-regulation might seem like a restrictive form of practice. Still, it also includes the ability to cheer yourself up after facing a disappointment and be true to yourself by respecting your core being’s fundamental values.
How to balance mindfulness, self-care, and self-regulation?
The short answer to this question would be – it’s tricky. See, the essence of self-regulation is the ability to take a beat between experiencing a feeling and acting upon it. It’s the skill needed to improve your self-confidence and self-esteem since you’ll be in control of your instincts and impulsive behavior.
Mindfulness is just the virtue you need to develop as an aid in self-regulation. Being mindful enables us to put some space between ourselves and our reactions, leading to better focus and feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Finally, self-care is the portion of the process that will help you replenish your energy and tackle new challenges. Spend some time with friends, meditate, or treat yourself to a nice, healthy meal. Do whatever you need to get back on your feet after a hard day.
Get the help you need when you need it
As you have seen, incorporating mindfulness, self-care, and self-regulation in your everyday life can seem like a hard thing to do on your own. We all have numerous burdens from our past. We are all afraid of what the future might bring.
Under those circumstances, it is tough to live in the moment, to truly experience your feelings and adequately react to them. When it comes to self-care, there is a thin line between taking care of yourself and being selfish and reckless towards others. Not to mention that the simultaneous incorporation of all these skills might seem like a tough balancing act.
While the benefits of mindfulness, self-care, and self-regulation are numerous and well documented, sometimes it’s better and easier to get to know these skills and master them with some help from an expert.
Buddhism and psychotherapy combined can be just what you need to adopt these skills. Find a Buddhist psychotherapist in London or wherever you are and start living in the present.