A Time for Mindfulness
In an extremely hard time where we’re under attack on our physical, mental and social health, it’s important and for some people crucial, to stay calm and try not to let anxiety take over. Whilst we all wish this wasn’t happening, we can try to use the time at home to learn to be present and give our minds some spring-cleaning, which will set us up with healthier habits for the future.
Mindfulness is the practise of “focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”. It’s by no means blocking thoughts out but accepting them and trying to let them pass whilst we remain being in the moment, like a cloud slowly passing in the sky. It can help to concentrate on the senses, what we can see, smell, hear, taste and feel beneath our feet. The point of this is to improve and maintain our mental health.
Modern day life makes it challenging to be mindful, we are bombarded with photos, ads, videos, notifications, texts, messages, e-mails and breaking news, this teleports us out of the present moment and into a place where we are thinking about things we want to buy tomorrow, wishing we could look or be like someone else one day or worrying about something that happened at work last week, vanishing the moment we are in completely. It can feel like being in a hurricane with nothing to hold onto, we lose the ground beneath us.
In some ways the lock down is already making us more mindful, we’ve been forced to live in a day-by-day scenario, without a confirmed date where things will go back to ‘normal’. We have also been stripped of filling our time with shopping or ‘grabbing a quick lunch’, bringing more attention to everything we do, whether it be finishing the book we’ve had for months or taking the time to bake something new.
With the time we now have at home, it can give us the opportunity to discover what mindfulness practise works for us, we are all different and therefore what makes us present will vary, forming this relationship with an activity that makes you feel in the moment and calm is worth carrying on long-term. We need to remind ourselves to appreciate each sip of coffee, take small bites and enjoy our food fully, put our phones down if we already have the TV on and stop digesting unhelpful information from scrolling.
There is an interesting questionnaire available via the Head Space website where you can get an indication of your mindful awareness scale, take one today and see if after consciously trying to be mindful, this improves over the next few months.
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