Is Mindfulness for me?
Over the years, mindfulness has become synonymous with mental health. In this article we look at: Who is mindfulness for? When and where to start the journey? and What does mindfulness involve?
If your new year resolution is to have a healthier body and mind, or the past year has been mentally challenging, whatever your reason to work toward better mental health, mindfulness is for you.
When can you start your mindfulness journey?
Before you decide to dive in head first, there are things you may need to consider.
As you would with any physical issues, consult your doctor before taking up running or weight training if you suffered with a bad back or knee, so should you ensure readiness to practice mindfulness.
The first thing to consider is your current state of mental health; whether you been suffering anxiety, depression, or other mental difficulties in recent months. If so, consult with your mental health doctor, and confirm whether now is the right time for you to start mindfulness practice.
If you are asked to wait don’t worry! There are other things you can do start your mindfulness journey. So, read on…
The Doing Mind
The Being Mind
What does it involve?
Mindfulness involves learning skills that are transferable to other aspects of your life. A mindfulness program helps you to understand the Doing Vs Being mode of the mind.
In the doing mode least mental processing takes place to perform a task; the “autopilot mode”. Examples include, multitasking or brushing your teeth. It could also include your reaction when your boss points out an error in your spreadsheet. Your instant reaction could be to either blame yourself and apologise. Or curse, and blame the other person.
The being mode is where you take the time to “be” in the moment. It means while brushing your teeth you may not only smell and taste the flavour of the paste, you may notice whether you are exerting too much or too little pressure on the teeth. To your bosses observation you may choose to stay calm, make a note of the error, and take time to investigate the reason for the error.
This skill helps you to grow your knowledge base, innovate, become resilient and adapt to new challenges, rather than follow the old routine of blame, shame and anger.
Most of all, mindfulness involves being kind, compassionate and non-judgmental to yourself.
The aim of The Mindfulness Course is to empower individuals to deal with thoughts and feelings that hinder positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Where do you start?
Another option is to start your journey with a mindfulness teacher. The knowledge and guidance you receive during a session can be therapeutic. Individual sessions give you the personalized attention you need, teaching mindfulness tools that you are comfortable with.
Mindfulness sessions are also carried out in group settings. Group sessions help build a sense of community and knowing that you are not alone in the way you feel.
If understanding the Doing Vs Being is overwhelming, then you can start with this simple breathing awareness tool (View here) as an exercise. If your doctor suggests you wait awhile before you undertake a mindfulness session, follow his/ her advice. Once you are ready, start out with simple activities that you enjoy doing. It could be playing an instrument, paddle boarding, swimming, yoga, walking or running for instance.
On a walk, notice the pace at which you are walking; do you walk with your toes landing first or sole? How is the texture of the surface you are walking on? What do you think of the air temperature around you, and how the air feels against your skin? How do the smells and sights around you affect you? Do you notice the movement of your arms, legs, and the rhythm of your breath etc.
The emphasis is on observation, without labelling or judging. In the adjacent video, watch the shapes, the colours and the way the light falls on the object, as it unfolds. If thoughts pop up in your mind that is okay just bring your attention back to the object.
If you liked the video and wish to download it to start your mindfulness practice click here
We deliver The Mindfulness Course this course was developed with the intention to support the mindfulness journey of individuals who actively seek to better their mental health and work-life balance. We also operate B2B by offering the course to businesses that are invested in their employees’ ongoing professional development.
The course is delivered over an (8) eight-week period, with each weekly session lasting for 2 hours. Across these (8) eight weeks, you learn to understand your thoughts and feelings, along with identifying the sensations in the body and be with these thoughts, emotions, and feelings in kindness and compassion. With your newly learnt skills, you will be able to catch the thoughts that creep in and gently let go without letting them bring you down.
If you would like to explore a short course to manage your mental health checkout out Stress Management workshop.
The Stress Management Workshop is for anyone who is experiencing burnout or stress.
This one-day stress management training course explores the causes of such stress and suggests general and specific stress management strategies that can be used every day.
The stress management workshop can be delivered in-person or online, to a group, or to individuals who would like a one-on-one personal session.
Organisations can opt for this stress management training in the workplace.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be better able to manage their stress and work life balance.