• Heather Oglesby

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help with many things, regular practice can increase your self-awareness, lower anxiety and stress levels so you feel calmer, and help you to be kinder towards yourself. Mindfulness asks you to slow down and notice everything; everything you see, every thought, feeling, taste and sound.

If you are sitting near some trees look at the leaves on the trees, notice how the sunlight shines through them and how they sway in the breeze, there may be some that have been nibbled on by an insect, see the small marks, see the different colours and how the sunlight changes them. Notice each branch and how far they extent out, marvel at the strong sturdy trunk that holds the tree up, inspect every scratch and knot in the bark.

Notice how your thoughts come and go, watch them float away on a river in your mind. Really pay attention to your body; is your breath shallow, are your shoulders tense, is your jaw clenched; these are often signs of stress and anxiety, using body scans and progressive muscle relaxation can help ease this tension and make you feel more connected to your body.

Take a moment to close your eyes and listen. What can you hear, where can you hear it, can you name all the sounds. If you don’t feel present in the here and now this can be extremely helpful for grounding yourself.

There are lots of different ways to practice mindfulness ranging from meditation to eating a square of chocolate; find what feels right for you and fit it into your daily routine.

Something to ponder: When was the last time you stopped and just let yourself be?

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