We might think that meditating for 30 minutes a day is what we need to do to instil a calm presence in ourselves and our lives. There is screeds to research to back up the fact that meditation calms and protects our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health. But there are other ways of bringing stillness into our day – especially during a challenging work day.Being MINDFUL is one such way.
For those of you who haven’t dipped your toes in the mindfulness pool yet – Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, staying in it, not forward into the future nor back into the past but just staying right there – in the moment.
Mindfulness practise allows you to just observe the flow of your thoughts, emotions, what your body is doing – no judgement – just observing and allowing them to be, we notice external sounds too, we use other senses to notice things we might not normally have noticed.
Think about the calm you would feel if you weren’t focussing on what might happen (but usually never does) next week or something that happened 10 years ago.
Mindfulness practises are so helpful for taming anxiety and panic attacks and regulating the nervous system – which of course means everything else works so much better including the gut – which has a nervous system especially built into those undulating folds of the digestive tract.
According to the Harvard University mindfulness team, the proven benefits of mindfulness include:
Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences—including painful emotions—rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance. (Mindfulness, 2016)
One way to incorporate a litle mindfulness into your day is to practise some simple techniques at work. You’re reading this and thinking – well how do I do that? I’ ve got emails to answer, phone calls to make, and my co-worker will not stop talking, I have to (insert your own task here) …. I get that. It’s like that here in clinic.
I’ve found the easiest way to incorporate a little stillness is just to do one of the steps below every few hours, they literally take a few minutes – who can’t afford to take a few minutes out of their day for self-care?. For those who say they can’t I say “who can’t afford to take a few minutes out of their day for self-care” if you get my drift…
It’s about being aware of your surroundings and where your fit into that – it can be as simple as stopping and feeling the chair you are sitting in against your butt! Seriously. It is acknowledging things right down to what’s going on directly around you and within you.
Some helpful resources to try include the writings of Eckhart Tolle, Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer or one of the readily available phone apps like the Headspace app, though I must say my favourite app is @calm.
If you’d like to see a naturopath, you can find me at My Remedy in Milford, and we can discuss this a bit more!
Till next time, Go Well