Be mind kind
I recently decided to reengage with mindfulness, a practice which lowers my anxiety, boosts my mood and helps to give me a sense of clarity.
Mindfulness allows us to live in the present rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. It encourages us to focus on, and accept what we are thinking and feeling in any given moment, without judgement or preconceptions.
Normally, when you experience something you automatically react according to your past experiences. Mindfulness teaches you to respond to your current experience, without reacting to any of the learned negative thought patterns. By responding to a situation, rather than automatically reacting to an emotion, you are able to take a more considered approach to resolving it.
For example, if work suddenly becomes very busy, you can either react emotionally which leads to stress without taking any positive actions. Or, you can take a more mindful approach where you accept the fact you are busy, and acknowledge it could be a bit stressful. By accepting the situation for what it is – and not ruminating on what could happen, or why you are busy – allows you to focus your attention on a solution.
Although mindfulness can be practiced formally, through meditation, yoga and breathing exercises, it can be really easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Whether this is focused breathing for three minutes in the morning, mindful walking on your way into the office or taking two minutes out to have a cup of tea, you focus on the different sensations you feel across your body in each of these scenarios. It doesn’t need to take any longer than five minutes, but giving yourself a moment to be present each day can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing and helps you to become more mindful when you encounter challenging situations.