Do you often feel like you are running to stand still in an increasing fast paced frenetic world? Do you feel weighed down by all the “Stuff” you need to get done? Do you feel stressed out?
Stress, it’s a word on almost everyone’s lips at one time or another. People spend a lot of time thinking of ways to gain control, feel less stressed and combat some of the negative effects that stress can have on the body. But all to often these thoughts are fleeting and hardly ever gain any traction to bring about any tangible change. Its natural to try to think you way out of a problem situation, we are cognitive beings and this is one of our best skills, but in fact what often happens is that this trying to think about changing becomes a viscous cycle of fault finding, doubts and recriminations… which can leave you feeling worse than before.
Is there anything wrong with trying to be better, do better, and feel better? After all we will have heard the sayings “God loves a Try’er” or “if at first you don’t succeed, Try Try Again” “Winners never stop Trying”
Well, yes. You see the thing is there is doubt in trying, its full of “what if’s, maybes, perhaps” there comes a time when after trying to do something for a while and it doesn’t work out, you have to stop an do something different instead.
When it comes to starting to tackle the negative influence stress has taken on your life it may be time to stop trying and start being. There is an alternative to just getting by. Perhaps its time to find a new way of being, rather than just trying a new technique or passing fad or craze? By new way of being what I really mean is a new way of behaving, adopting a new process that you can practice to support you every day and will evolve with you and help when life sets those difficult challenges from time to time.
Through our Re-Set Retreat programme dozens of women have been introduced to a new way through the Mindfulness element of the retreat. Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to reducing the impact of negative thoughts. . Mindfulness can stop negative self attacking thoughts in their tracks before they build momentum into the vicious cycle mentioned earlier. Mindfulness is a very simple concept. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality which in turn brings about a long term change in mood, concentration levels, reactions times and feelings of wellbeing while at the same time improves the brains resistance to stress, anxiety and irritations.
Mindfulness isn’t new, it has been practiced for centuries and its recommended by MIND the mental health charity as effective part of treatment for anxiety and depression but what mindfulness isn’t is a quick fix. It works if you make a commitment to yourself, a commitment not that you will try to find time to practice, but you make time to practice because it is important to you.
So how long does it take? You can make a start from as little as three minutes each day. Can you find three minutes to begin to regain control over stress?
Try this three minute mindful exercise, practice it every day for a week and you will slowly but surely begin to feel subtle difference to how you
Three Minute Mindful Meditation
- Sit upright on a chair, bring your back away from the back of the chair so that you are self supporting. Have you feet flat on the floor and allow your hands to rest gently in your lap.
- Close your eyes or pick a spot off in the middle distance and just relax your eyes as you look at that spot.
- Focus your attention on your breath, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Just notice the difference sensations as you breath in and out.
- Just follow the breath in and out. If you mind starts to wander after a while that’s ok, when you notice this happening just gently bring your attention back to you breath. Don’t chastise yourself for your mind wandering, it happens and the practice of bringing your wandering mind back is central to mindfulness.
- Just allow yourself to enjoy the sensation of just sitting breathing, nothing more. You may notice that you mind wanders a lot and you need to keep bringing it back or you may find that you mind clears and becomes calm. Whatever happens just allow it to be your experience. Don’t judge it, there is no right or wrong.
- After a moment or two of simply being, bring your awareness back to the room around you and give yourself a little stretch.
- Congratulate yourself that you have taken your first step towards having a more mindful future.
And that’s it. Can something so seemingly small have any impact on a life that may feel overwhelmed by stress and strain? The answer is yes, it is the first step, once you have made time each day for a week to practice this mindful meditation you will find that you start naturally making other choices that positively impact you. In just three short minutes you will have begun your virtuous cycle and then the only way is up.
The Body Retreat is a leader in Health and Well-being events if you have any questions about the above topic or feel we could help you please contact us today.
0771 800 1036