Mindfulness can be described as maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. It is an innate quality of being human, that unfortunately, can get side-tracked and unlearnt by our busy demanding lifestyles. Mindfulness training has been developed by scientists and psychologists, drawing on an ancient Buddhist tradition, to help us to reduce stress, calm the mind and as an alternative therapy for anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness meditation is one approach in a deep toolkit of self-care and nurturing that helps me to manage the demands of my work, and I try to practise throughout the day, starting on walking with a 20-minute meditation, followed by a short sit in the garden at lunch, and sometimes, if not too exhausted before cooking dinner.
Mindfulness is a great self-care practice and can be used not only to help create more head space to think through daily challenges and support behaviour change, like stopping smoking, losing weight or getting more active. Why not try walking in nature or identifying a place in your home, where you can sit in silence to rest, think, and gather your personal resources.
Mindfulness is not a cure-all, and it doesn’t suit everyone. However, it’s an approach that is free, supported by books, apps and sometimes local courses and groups, and backed up by a raft of scientific evidence around its effectiveness. Whilst the past year has had its challenges it has allowed us to appreciate the small things so before you rush back to life as it was, why not try some mindful techniques to help smooth your way.
David Lynch – Health Trainer & Mindful Coach