Extraordinary and scary times
The news is full of pretty grim reports which can be particularly frightening if you are an older person or someone suffering from a serious illness. The situation is really unsettling everyone, because if it doesn’t directly affect you, you’ll know someone it does and will no doubt experience worries about them.
My husband is not a well man and, in relation to this virus situation, I sometimes find myself experiencing waves of upset, even tears in my eyes, accompanied by a feeling of tightness in my chest and stomach. Have you experienced feelings like that too in response to recent news you’ve watched, read or listened to?
I’m an accredited Mindfulness Teacher and so you might think that I should somehow automatically be able to rise above negative thoughts and feelings? The truth is I’m as vulnerable to experiencing stress and and anxiety as the next person, especially in relation to my husband’s life-threatening illness which means it is very likely he would be seriously affected through infection by the virus.
I know it’s likely many of you will be having anxiety at the moment about someone dear to you and that it’s likely you will be experiencing waves of worry washing over you, just like me.
Some mornings having read the news, I don’t feel like meditating at all, being too distracted. But, I bring to mind the words of Jon Kabat Zinn about doing your meditation practice “as if your life depended on it”, so I do just that and it works, as I know deep down it will, to address my scattered thoughts and anxieties, helping me reach an inner place of stillness and calm.
How mindfulness can help
Mindfulness meditation is basically a training for the brain, to be able to make better and wiser choices about how we react to things. Actually doing the mindfulness practice can be very grounding, helping to place a ‘space’ between usual automatic reactions to stresssors, allowing you more choice as to how you respond to thoughts, emotons or events. After just a few minutes of meditation I can feel calmer and more able to focus on the ‘now’ rather than being consumed by thoughts about the future.
How mindfulness could help you
Would you find the ability to lower the stress and anxiety in your life, particularly during these increasingly challenging times?
If so, then maybe I might be of assistance? We all need to help one another and whilst I can’t do much in the practical sense to help others, as I’m haivng to self-isolate, I can help people to learn about the practice of mindfulness via regular, short online sessions.
Improve the way you’re dealing with things
There’s a wealth of scientific evidence that practicing mindfulness can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness can help you focus on what’s happening ‘now’ as opposed to being consumed with worrying about what might happen in the future. Whether your anxieties are related to your health, someone else’s health, financial impacts of the current situation, loneliness or other reason, practicing mindfulness can be of benefit to your general health and wellbeing.
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.”
If you think that learning about and practicing mindfulness would be of help to you in the challenging days ahead you can practice short meditations along with me.
I’ll be running regular mindfulness session online for free, during April. Wherever you have internet connection you’ll be able to join in via a link I’d send you. You could find joining in with the sessions teaches you techniques to address your brain going into overdrive or auto-pilot in response to what’s on the news, or what’s going on at home when you’d far rather be out and about.
In these extraordinary times we must try to support each other – “every little helps”.
Let's get connected
Find out if Mindfulness is for you
How would I access these sessions?
I would send you an email link to join an online ‘meeting’ at a pre-decided time of day
Do I need any equipment?
You’ll need a computer, tablet or phone you can connect to the internet.
You won’t need any special kit for learning mindfulness meditation techniques
Is mindfulness suitable for everyone?
There are some contra-indications to practicing mindfulness but I would talk to you individually about ‘suitability’ prior to your first session.
What can mindfulness do for me?
If you Google “what are the benefits of mindfulness” you’ll find plenty to read about. In brief, learning about mindfulness meditation can help you lower levels of stress and anxiety that can lead to poor sleep, inability to focus, physical manifestations of stress, cravings and feelings of hopelessness.