Mindfulness is a lot about being in the moment. Something that people with anxiety or depression might struggle with is those moments of peace and calm that come from being mindful. It is a great practice to get into. But where do you start and what impact can it have on your mental health?
Well, we have all had times in our lives when things just haven’t gone according to plan. From losing people, we care about, to finding ourselves with an addiction we just can’t kick. Before starting out on a journey, you should have a think about what you wish the outcome to be and what type of help is going to be the best option. Sometimes you need talking therapy and medication, other times you might need to seek out a sober living for men establishment. Don’t be worried or feel guilty for needing support – we all need it from time to time.
Meditation is a great way to introduce mindfulness into your daily life slowly. You might opt to have guided meditation sessions using youtube, the Calm app or the Headspace app. Or you might even head out and visit a class.
Perhaps all of that sounds a bit too much right now. You can start by picking some relaxing music, sitting in a comfortable position and setting a three-minute timer. When you feel intrusive thoughts begin to float into your mind, gently dismiss them. Focus on your breathing, how the floor feels beneath your feet and the sensation in your fingertips. Anything that you feel will keep you present.
When we are in the middle of some situations, it can be very easy to lose track of all of the fantastic things we have, and the beautiful people we have around us. Each day take a few moments to write down 5 positive things. It could be that you had enough butter for your toast, or that you managed to ward off an anxiety attack. Whatever it is, celebrate it in the fullest by keeping a note of it.
Getting outside might seem a little overwhelming, so maybe you can start this one slowly. PLants, trees, grass and rolling hills can do wonders to restore a sense of peace and calm in us. If you have somewhere that you can walk to, and relax in – try and go once a week. If heading outside is not currently an option for you, invest in some pictures of landscapes and a couple of houseplants and place them where you spend the most time.
This is easier said than done. Most of us are walking about with a clenched jaw, stiff shoulders and neck. Take a moment and try to relax your face from the top of your head, down your face, wiggle your jaw, roll your shoulders and breathe it out a bit. Try to do this a few times a day to stop the tension building up and become too much to handle.