Achieve calm and clarity with mindfulness
By Kish Modasia, mindfulness coach
In the western world we are materially rich, and yet we are emotionally poor. The impact of this is that we are always wanting more, pacing around at fast speed, and as a result we are tired, stressed and have forgotten how to relax.
We need to think about mindfulness and our emotional wellbeing as being a bit like a bank balance. In order to buy food, pay rent, or go on holiday we need a healthy bank balance.
In the same way we need to build up our emotional bank balance. As we learn more relaxation techniques the emotional bank balance builds up so that when we are hit with those tough challenges we are more able to deal with them.
Mindfulness is about creating calm, clarity, and thinking space every day through self awareness and breathing techniques. It’s a perfect antidote to our busy full lives, which can leave us stressed, tired and angry. Practised daily, mindfulness can change our thinking and perspective so we begin to move away from things that are holding us back.
By being mindful and more present with simple tasks like breathing, eating or simply enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, the emotional bank balance can be topped up regularly and daily. If you do just five minutes a day that’s 35 minutes a week, 1,820 minutes a year which is just over 30 hours a year – and that’s just for starters.
Here are some mindfulness tips to get you going:
1. At lunchtime, walk away from your desk and sit down with your lunch.
2. Take a few minutes to notice what you have in front of you.
3. What journey did those ingredients make to be your meal?
4. Who made it possible for that to be in front of you?
5. Take a little time to give thanks for it and to all those who made it possible. Take a few moments to notice the colours, smell the ingredients, feel the texture and then slowly taste it as you chew.
Mindfulness tools can include conscious breathing, and more time when you eat or drink. A regular practice of meditation starting with a few minutes of just being still and noticing your thoughts without any judgement is also a valuable resource that you can use.
The brain will need to learn to relax and it will take time. Be patient, as you are using a new muscle in the brain and, like a physical muscle, it needs time to get fit. Unfortunately it doesn’t ache like a physical muscle: instead we just get stressed, tired and busy.
The most important thing is to begin… start with one thing and practise, practise.
Kish is a qualified professional coach and workshop facilitator, and an exponent of mindfulness in everyday life. She was a pioneer of home working in 1988 and has a great sense of fun and adventure – she’s even tried her hand at stand-up comedy to take herself out of her comfort zone!
(Mug & cake photos by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)