100 Days of Healing – Day 15

I have taken my sweet time to read it, but I’m back to working through The Mindfulness Toolbox: 50 Practical Tips, Tools and Handouts for Anxiety, Depression & Pain.

This section struck me, because it speaks directly to the blurb I wrote about my blog about being a person that likes to get from point A to point B:

An outcome orientation is focused on the future, which often produces worry or anxiety about achieving a desired outcome. In a very real way, it saps the enjoyment and curiosity out of the experience itself.

Learning how to change focus from outcome to present-moment process can be a powerful experience. Most importantly, it reduces anxiety that comes from focusing on expectations and outcome-oriented thinking.

Here are a few examples of outcome orientation:

  • Learning for the sake of getting that “A” on a test or report card
  • Finishing a work task on time
  • Focusing solely on a sports training goal or time
  • Getting that promotion at work
  • Receiving the highest review from a supervisor
  • Making sure the house is always spotless
  • Comparing one’s progress against that of others

By shifting awareness to the most minute and tiniest details of one’s experience, the process orientation comes into the foreground. This practice also trains the brain to stay in the moment.

I knew I needed to make an orientation adjustment, and now I know why.