Saturday, 28 March 2015

Being Mindful

This is my third attempt at writing this post. It started out somewhat differently because I've been thinking aloud as I tap away on my laptop trying to get to what I wanted to say and I have no doubt that it will evolve and change as I write. You see things have happened recently, 'life has happened' and it led me to the following thoughts.

Sometimes things happen in life and you get dragged along in the tide unable to change what's about to unfold. There's no point in 'what ifs' or 'what you could have done' because it will all ultimately happen as it is meant to happen. You simply have to sit back and let it!

The difficult part is to allow even the painful things in life to unfold without resistance and somehow in the process find some peace by being able to shut out the internal chatter that ultimately causes anxiety. The kind of chatter that defeats you.

In the last couple of years I've been exploring the practice of mindfulness and I have been finding it really helpful to shut out the internal chatter and find a peaceful place within.

I'm constantly on a journey with this, but I find as I get older and the more I learn it's easier to be mindful and find a peaceful place in the middle of my thoughts, even if just for a few minutes. 

It's essentially about being present, in the 'now', finding a moment to breathe and that being all there is in that moment. Just focusing on the sensation of breathing. When you focus on your breathing its easier to shut out the noise of your thoughts. 

It's a practice that also helps you be aware of the internal chatter because we are so used to it simply being there and we dont realise that we don't need to listen to all of it. Mindfulness teaches you to not only quiet your thoughts but enables you to choose which ones you want to listen to. And it enables those of us who suffer from anxiety to identify it and and avoid the descent into the pit.

In my quest I've found that there are so many amazing resources online for this including countless guided meditations on YouTube. As well as lots of articles and great books. There's loads of practical exercises you can do too, but ones others find great don't really do it for me, they're not my thing. I kind of like to keep these things simple and uncomplicated otherwise I lose interest!. A while back I found a 10 minute Guided Meditation on YouTube and I've stuck with it.  It's saved to a play list and when I need to be still and quiet my mind, which is usually when I feel myself descending into an anxiety pit, I open the YouTube app on my phone and hit play.  

I could keep writing but I'll leave it there for now. In the process of writing the post above I've learnt more yet again. Part of the journey of my life has been to overcome anxiety and sometime in the near future I'll share some of the other stuff that's helped me. In recent years I've found some really helpful natural therapies, but it's important to remember that we're all wired a little differently and what works for one may not work for all, but maybe bits of it will. It's simply a matter of finding the unique combination that works for you.

And for those that are fortunate not to suffer anxiety, mindfulness can simply offer a few moments of peace in a noisy world.

For now in my mind my goal is to be a bit like the boat in the picture, just floating along on a calm sea. Breathing in and breathing out.......

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