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Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find the here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. ― Eckhart Tolle
Are there times when dating makes you feel stressed? Thoughts like, “What if he lets me down like my ex?”, “I really like him but he hasn’t called, he’s not into me”, “What if I don’t feel an instant connection?”. These are just some thoughts that dating can bring about and let me tell you, YOU are not alone. I hear stressful dating stories from many of my clients, friends and family whether they are divorced and looking for love again or single and wanting to settle down.
You see the problem is, it’s very normal for past disappointing dating experiences to play on your mind, however when those negative thoughts become habitual your judgement is likely to be coloured based on these ideas. When you are in this “dating autopilot mode”, your thoughts will be having a field day convincing you of an impending dating disaster even if there is no real evidence to suggest that.
Often self-limiting beliefs like “I’m not good enough,’’ “I will never meet someone,” are perhaps driven by the fear of being left alone or of getting hurt. Whatever your dating or relationship history looks like, no matter how bright or well rounded you are there are going to be times when negative thoughts can takeover and they will hinder you moving forward on your journey if you let them.
You have choices on your path to discovering love. A conscious choice to help you feel more in control of your thoughts and emotions starts with YOU, your mindset, your whole being and this is where mindful dating could be your best friend!
Mindfulness is essentially “being” fully engaged in the present moment. By cultivating awareness of what is happening in the here and now you can pause to fully take part in life instead of getting carried away by thoughts or reacting to situations.
Mindful dating brings this awareness to your romantic dates by giving you space and permission to remain open to yourself or your potential partner. Learning to observe your thoughts about dating without judgement can help you engage in dates with less stress on your shoulders with a more relaxed approach.
When you peel back layers of stress you feel more connected with yourself, freer and lighter because you can simply be with nothing weighing you down. By “being” you, the real stress free beautiful you, you can allow a potential partnership to unfold and prevent old habits from ending a relationship before it has had the chance to evolve.
Expert Tip: To escape the prison of negative thoughts to get into the moment, you could try starting a regular meditation practice, yoga or Tai chi which guide you to focus on your attention inwards.
So the next time you find yourself feeling stressed or caught up in a negative cycle of thoughts about dating, take a step back, pause, breathe and be kind to yourself – remember these are your thoughts and you have a choice to focus them on the goodness in the here and now. First and foremost, be content with you first and comfortable being present in your own skin, be fully aware of this because no one wants to be with someone who has been hijacked by their thoughts.
Bio: Mita Mistry is a Mindfulness Coach, Acupuncturist, Newspaper Columnist and expert in holistic care of chronic diseases and mental health. www.mitamistry.co.uk/go/thepowerofmindfulness/