Mindfulness Mumbo Jumbo

One of the latest buzz words, when talking about health and wellbeing, is mindfulness. Although it is being talked about more than ever, it is certainly not a recent method of relaxing, de stressing and feeling better in yourself, it is an aspect of the 2500 year old tradition of Buddhist psychology.
When I talk to clients about mindfulness, especially the younger clients, they respond in a way that often implies its ‘airy fairy’ and a ‘hippy’ type of relaxation that would never really work. In actual fact it is quite the opposite. As human beings, we have all practised mindfulness at some point in our lives, even if its only for a few seconds or minutes at a time. It is also something that I think we all strive for, to be in the ‘here and now’ and as a result, relaxed, grounded and content.
So what is it? As a psychotherapist I would use the following definition:
(scholarly articles online)
Sounds good doesn’t it? If only? It would be great to have the time to sit and do this!? Well if you wake up in the morning and you are alive, then you have lots of opportunities to practise mindfulness.
We all eat everyday, at numerous times in the day, and this is a wonderful way to be mindful. Rather than just eating your lunch, you can relax yourself too. 
Take eating a sweet or chocolate for example, if you are like me, you might just put it in your mouth, chew it a bit and then swallow it, whilst opening up the next one! Try eating a sweet or chocolate much slower, so that it takes you at least a minute to eat it. Whilst eating it you need to focus on all of your senses and not be distracted by anything else, maybe close your eyes.
Think about the noises you can hear, the smell and the taste of what you are eating and how this changes as you continue to chew.
‘A mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique’
Sounds good doesn’t it? If only? It would be great to have the time to sit and do this!? Well if you wake up in the morning and you are alive, then you have lots of opportunities to practise mindfulness.
We all eat everyday, at numerous times in the day, and this is a wonderful way to be mindful. Rather than just eating your lunch, you can relax yourself too.
Take eating a sweet or chocolate for example, if you are like me, you might just put it in your mouth, chew it a bit and then swallow it, whilst opening up the next one! Try eating a sweet or chocolate much slower, so that it takes you at least a minute to eat it. Whilst eating it you need to focus on all of your senses and not be distracted by anything else, maybe close your eyes. Think about the noises you can hear, the smell and the taste of what you are eating and how this changes as you continue to chew.
If you are a parent you may be familiar with the term ‘I’m bored!’ especially at this time of year when the school holidays are upon us. This is a great time to help your children practise mindfulness and being present, in the ‘here and now’ because this is often what is happening when they are bored and they feel they just want to ‘do something’ instead. Helping your children to just learn to ‘be’ and not always ‘do’ is a fantastic life skill that will also reduce their anxiety and stress levels as they develop into adults. Teach then to be mindful and ‘bored’ and you are giving them a gift!
If you find yourself telling yourself ‘not to panic’ or that you need to be ‘less anxious’ start by asking yourself how you can be more relaxed! It is impossible to be relaxed and anxious at the same time.
“Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories.”

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