F! feeling bad, let’s practice Mindful Looking!
Mindful Looking will help you achieve Vipassana, or seeing things as they are, which is valuable for every aspect of your life—it helps you make better decisions, be more purposeful, and reduce your susceptibility to persuasion and illusion. It is proactive avoidance of toxic relationships and narcissistic abuse. It teaches your brain to focus on what you see, not what you want to see.
You are going to focus on one object in your immediate environment for this one.
- Find a comfortable seated position.
- Begin scanning the room, noticing each object that you see.
- Settle on one of the objects in the room and move closer to it, or move it closer to you.
- Using your available senses, explore the object completely:
- Observe the color, shapes, and size of it.
- What is the texture and temperature of the object?
- Are there moving parts to the object? How does the movement change the shape or texture of the object? Does it make a sound?
- Continue to observe the object noticing things you had not noticed about it before.
Mindful Looking is one of several skills that helps you get to Vipassana, or seeing things as they are. By enhancing your ability to focus on what exists in your space at the present moment, you free yourself from the persuasion of others and self. So many hitchhikers and salespeople invade your mind space throughout your days, weeks, months, years, and life that erode your ability to fully rely on your own perceptions. For those who have survived toxic relationships with narcissistic abuse, this practice is necessary to untangle the damage of gaslighting and restore confidence in your ability to trust your perception of the world around you.
Do you ever notice that when you are having a bad day everybody else is a shitty driver? Your thoughts and emotions are driven by your prior thoughts and emotions. Your brain looks for things in your environment that match the mood you brought into the room. If you are angry, your eyes gravitate toward things in the room that justify or can be twisted to justify your angry mood. Most of us fail to see all the details and information presented to us when we enter a new situation.
The same process works in tandem with our thoughts. You are more inclined to notice things that agree with your thoughts in the moment AND your overall belief system. It is what drives confirmation bias, which explains our tendency to focus only on information that confirms the beliefs we have.
Based on confirmation bias and other cognitive processes that are functional in healthy human lives for so many reasons, not-so-healthy folks developed ways of persuasion that trick you into emotions and thoughts that alter your beliefs and actions in ways you might not have agreed to otherwise. Peripheral persuasion techniques are used every day to nudge you into walking into the gas station to buy a soda while pumping gas or donate to a cause because you are a good person and that’s what good people do. Worse, they are the basis for tools used in narcissistic abuse—gaslighting, blameshifting, rugsweeping, dog whistling, etc.
Mindful Looking trains your brain to pay attention to more than just what your thoughts and emotions naturally gravitate toward based on your mood. It is a proactive tool against persuaders, whether or not they are acting maliciously. Practicing Mindful Looking on a regular basis helps you naturally build a resistance to boundary breeches while grounding you in the moment you are in, in the present.
If you are interested in increasing your ability to regulate your emotions, move through the world more purposefully, and manage overwhelming anger and anxiety, consider registering for updates on upcoming programs and sign up for your free consultation
For more information about Mindful Looking, follow the links below:
Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health treatment. It is important for survivors of abuse to find mental health professionals who understand trauma and abusive relationships. Please seek support from trusted and trained practitioners. This content is not meant to be used by anyone as diagnostic criteria. Permissions have not been granted for anyone to utilize this material as a source to make allegations about specific individuals. Any online content produced by Michelle Minette and F! All That Wellness Coaching is an educational discussion about narcissism which is a descriptive term for tendencies and behavioral patterns. Individuals with narcissistic features or tendencies do not necessarily meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. The terms narcissistic and narcissism are used as descriptions of tendencies and behaviors and are not meant as clinical terms.