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Mindfulness. What exactly is it?


By now I imagine most of you have heard the term “mindfulness”. It is a widely practised method to help combat multiple forms of mental illness, and is now being recommended by NICE. Now the term mental illness is a funny one… people really don’t like it because it sounds like they are weak/inferior/have a problem. However, we all get ill. Most of us at least get the sniffles once or twice a year right? The same applies to our mental health.

The world throws many different obstacles at us… relationship breakdowns, deaths, heavy workloads, failures, mistakes… you get it. Now there are many ways of combating these things. Here are a few….

1. Push harder and work through it. Caffeine fuelled, sleep deprived we are in survival mode. “Every Minute Counts!”. This is where mistakes happen and we become impulsive.

2. Suppression. “Just keep going.” “Don’t think about it.” This tactic is often aided by the habitual use of substance…. Nicotine, Alcohol, pain killers (for the law fearing folks) and Weed, Cocaine etc. (for those that are not so fearful of the law). Don't forget sex, gambling and consumerism.

Whilst method one leads to a vicious circle of mistakes, method 2 leads to a never ending chase which can spiral out of control into addiction or severe debt!

I am familiar with both those methods. And can safely say neither were for me. It isn't living and isn't true happiness. At the end of the day we have one life as we know it, we are blessed with this existence so need to try and enjoy it NOW.

However, it's going to take some work. Like a house whose electrics were fitted by some cowboy electrician, our brains have become a mess of cross wired thoughts and emotions. It's time for a refit.

This is where mindfulness comes in. There are lots of waffley descriptions out there for it. Here's mine: You have an internal dial inside of you. When this dial is in the middle you are present and feel content. (just take a look at your cat or dog lounging around if you don't know what content looks like, or think back to the time you had a hot bath or massage or meditated to know what content feels like).

When this dial moves from the middle you get put into a different state, you experience a wave of emotion, a thought, a sensation. The dial moves due to the obstacles the world throws at you. This is where the power of choice comes in. You can choose options 1 and 2…. Or make the hardest decision of all and be mindful.

By riding the wave you begin to understand the wave. You become more aware of the triggers that set the dial off. The dial can be set off due to so many different things. For me it's the foods I eat, if I haven't moved and played around enough that day, not spent enough time with an empty mind and the people I communicate and share my time with. By being aware of the triggers you can form new habits and remove them out of the equation (for me the hardest part of this has been cutting people out).

So my challenge to you is to sit back, be present, take notice of that dial and try and catch yourself reverting to options one and two (we all do it). When you catch it, ask why? And respond to the answer with ACTION.

If you feel like you gained any insight from this post then please like and share to get the message out there. We need more genuine heart felt content out there and less moaning and oooh look how good my life is posts. And please any questions get in touch!!! Love and kisses xxx


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