As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, a resident of Hyde Park Road and I took time out of the daily routine to think about Mindfulness and to have a go.
We talked about the history of mindfulness and its roots in Buddhist meditation though we recognised that as a practice in itself it isn’t religious or requires any sense of spirituality.
We talked about how our imaginations can run away with us and our preoccupation with either the past or the future can lead to negative thinking. Instead of this Mindfulness can, with practice help us to focus on the here and now by training our minds to see our thoughts for what they are.
We started to experience mindfulness by purposefully eating a piece of chocolate. We tried to let the chocolate melt on our tongues as we thought about its flavour. As our minds inevitably became distracted we acknowledged the thoughts and then brought our thinking back to the chocolate. We all agreed that the chocolate tasted nicer than normal.
We then tried a guided breathing meditation where we spent time focussing on our breath. Again, as our minds wandered we acknowledged the thoughts and brought them back to thinking about the breath. Afterwards we discussed how mindfulness might, with practice be a support for when we are feeling anxious and how we can build mindfulness into our daily lives. Recognising that this was just a very brief taster and that many mindfulness courses last for 8 weeks, we talked about the range of courses that are available locally.
All in all – a great way to reduce stress levels – the key theme of this years’ mental health awareness week.
Hyde Park Road