I love this quote that was also used in Kung fu Panda, but initially spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Mindulness is all about increasing present day focus and bringing more attention to the here and now rather than those other things that are constantly whizzing round in my mind. Jon Kabat Zin described it as paying attention, on purpose in the present moment, non-judgementally. It could include focusing on the breath, listening to a piece of music, eating, drawing/colouring. There are so many different things you can do to develop a mindful practice, it’s finding something that works for you.

Read on to find out more about how a regular mindfulness practice might help you. 

It slows down our nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Modern life is fast paced, we are busy, active and stressed much of the time. Our sympathetic nervous system keeps us on high alert much of the time but we need a nemesis to this. This is where a mindfulness practice can activate our parasympathetc nervous system that can slow our whole system down. Evidence suggests that our bodies heart rate lowers, our blood pressure decreases, our awareness, attention and focus can increase. This can all have a positive impact on our day to day functioning.

Evidence shows that people who practice mindfulness show increased activity in the pre frontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with positive emotion.

It can teach us skills to use when we are feeling more overwhelmed.

In my clinic when we start our therapy journey we initially look at developing or increasing a mindfulness practice. We always do this when people are feeling ok. Often a misconception is that these skills will help when the anxiety overwhelms you but in my experience these are skills that we have to practice when we are feeling ok first. Click here to get your free download to help you unhook from overwhelming emotions. When we have developed some skill in them they may then help to decrease our anxiety anyway and they may help us when we feel overwhelmed.

Having skills in our ‘tool box’ can ultimately help us to cope better with any overwhelming feelings we have. We can learn to focus on the present day rather than the past or the future. As this quote from the Buddha explains – “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most”

It can help to change the awareness to the thoughts that whizz round in our minds. 

I have come to the understanding that regardless of where I am in the world, what I am doing, all those thoughts that distract me, that trouble me, the mundane things about everyday life will always be there whizzing around in our mind. Our goal therefore is not to stop these thoughts but instead for us to change our awareness towards them. We might notice that they become quieter, they are distant, they are less demanding. And that can give us time and space to focus on the present moment and focus on the here and now. As this Quote from Buddha stated – “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most”

My self-reflection of 3 months of doing a daily meditation.

Back in the summer I decided to begin a more formal mindfulness practice by making a promise to myself that every morning I would complete the daily calm exercise from my calm app. I don’t think I have missed a day. I make it part of my morning routine, I make a cup of tea then I do my mindfulness. I would never not have a morning cuppa as soon as I wake up so I always do my practice.

The most significant change I have noticed is just how much present moment focus I seem to have. This has led to me noticing so many beautiful things. It’s almost like a side effect has become noticing positivity and beauty. I notice the brightness of the sun, the colours in the sky, the red vibrant berries on the trees, the bird songs at dawn. I think this is a big change for me as I often spend much of my time busy thinking in my head. So I think over all it has led to a calmness and an awareness of the world that I didn’t hold so highly before.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.