What is it with Mindfulness?! Want an easier way to clear your mind? Well read on as it’s not what you think.
Don’t get me wrong I love Mindfulness – I researched Mindfulness and children’s capacity for mindful behaviour as my final dissertation for my bachelors in child development. In fact I did a hermeneutic phenomenological (yuh!) study of Mindfulness and being mindful as the lived experience. This involved in depth interviews and putting together a program teaching Mindfulness exercises to young children… and then looking for comparisons as their behaviour did or didn’t change. I also underwent a programme of Mindfulness meditation with the British Institute of Mindfulness to better understand the process and discipline required. And this is the thing – Mindfulness is lovely, but it takes discipline and you have to stick with it to see results. This in itself is the biggest stumbling block people come across… and it’s why Mindfulness can often set people up for failure.
For a person to sit with their discomfort and just notice without judgement takes a certain amount of resilience in the first place. We see it being applied in the education system like a sticking plaster – it’s the latest go to thing that’s followed on from Thrive and before that SEAL… and yet anxiety levels in schools are through the roof regardless of how much money is thrown at the latest go to band-aid for mental health. So don’t beat yourself up if you find it hard work because most people do. Remembering to meditate each day is like sticking to your diet or gym programme… some can and some can’t.
What we really need to be doing is thinking in terms of how safe our brain feels and what our mindstate is on any given day. This blog is a series of tips and mindhacks I use each and every day in practice with clients to build resilience and to be able to rapidly shift their state of mind for any given thing. We’ll use the fact that the brain doesn’t know what’s real or made up and exploit it to our advantage.
We’ll also explore how the mind-body connection can help us to flood our system with feel good hormones without resorting to our bad habits and vices; the comfort eating, the shopping habit or the need for shiny new ‘toys’. These habits often form in early childhood as ways of comforting and self-soothing, in more extreme cases we have addictions to alcohol and drugs. These addictions are fuelled by our innate need for human connection, a secure base and equally secure boundaries.
Once we can put in place strategies to make our brain feel safe and secure we become mindful as a by-product of this feeling of safety. Our world opens up and the internal negative chatter subsides.
Each exercise is designed to take only a few moments of time. Once it’s created in your mind it can be easily activated as and when needed.