An explosion of mindfulness
by Carolyn Barber
In our recent Trialogue discussion event, one of the participants talked about how mindfulness had really taken centre stage in terms of coping strategies during lockdown. Certainly in our earlier survey in May, many people focused on ‘acceptance’ and ways to stay in the present moment, to help manage the rollercoaster of emotions, anxieties and overwhelming stress they were experiencing during the Covid 19 health crisis.
As a new stage of adapting to life with coronavirus is emerging, it's perhaps time to take another look at how mindfulness can help with our mental and emotional resilience during the tough times which still lie ahead.
Breathing, noticing and concentration, are all skills which can be developed through mindful meditation exercises. Learning the habit of paying attention 'in the moment' often helps us feel more relaxed and calm, but more importantly it helps us to observe our thoughts and feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them. This then enables us to respond consciously, rather than react on autopilot, to difficult situations.
Mindfulness programmes are now used by health services to help people with conditions as diverse as chronic pain, heart disease, anxiety, psoriosis, sleep problems and severe depression. But there are many simple mindful exercises, short meditations, connecting mindfully with our senses and the natural world about us, that help us to connect with the present moment.
Why not try this 3 step exercise?
Now reflect on what you noticed doing that exercise.
There's still time to register for the Mental Wealth Academy mindfulness course for free, where you can access recordings with mindful exercises and guided meditations.