According to Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Mindfulness is knowing and understanding what is going on inside and outside of ourselves at every given moment.
An important part of being mindful is connecting with our bodies, and the sensations they experience. This means working with your five senses, to live presently making yourself aware of what’s happening in the moment to you.
In Covid-19 it is easy to lose touch with ourselves, with the way we feel mentally and emotionally, which means we can end up living in our heads, caught up in our mindful thoughts, without stopping to notice how what we think, and feel is driving our outward behaviour.
Notice the everyday
We can all choose to notice the feeling of things, as we go about our daily lives. This includes the food we eat, even the air moving past our body as we walk. While this may sound very small, it has great potential to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we are often in, while we go about our day to day lives, and to give us a new perspective on life.
Keep it regular
It can be helpful to pick a regular time to be aware of the sensations of the world around you. For example, the morning commute or going out for a walk.
Try something new
Trying new things, such as sitting in a different place or going somewhere new for lunch, anything you do that is a change to your normal routine, can help you notice the world in a new way.
Watch your thoughts
Not everyone understands how to be mindful, but it’s something we can tap into. Mindfulness helps stop us worrying and concerning ourselves over things. Mindfulness isn’t about making those thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.
It’s about being self-aware. For example, we imagine ourselves standing at a bus stop seeing ‘thought buses’ coming and going without having to get on them. It’s about being able to recognise what they are thinking. This can be difficult to begin with, but with practice it becomes easier.
It is important for us to become aware of what we think and feel so that we are best able to notice signs of stress and anxiety, which can help us deal with ourselves better.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends Mindfulness to prevent depression in people who have in the past dealt with or continue to struggle with 3 or more bouts of depression.
Mindfulness is something we don’t think about, but in some ways it’s more important than our physical health. Without a healthy mind, you may never stay physically well. It is why I write on my blog.
It is also why I wrote about my disability in my book Cerebral Palsy ‘A Story’ Finding the Calm After the Storm. It is also why I wrote a second book about my ‘spiritual and healing’ journey. It is why I continue to write.
For anyone who cares about their their health, their longevity and themselves, they will choose to contribute to their health through mindfulness. They will take themselves on their own journey, so that they may stay well.
My Story may differ to yours, but we can all take a nose dive through mental health issues. What I have come to learn through my own mental health is that none of us are free of mental health issues.
If you would like to see how my healing journey can also help you, my book is available through Amazon.co.uk just follow the link https://amzn.to/3joXymB – or you can buy a copy through The Book Depository for free international postage https://bit.ly/2X5ae9H