When I used to hear the word mindfulness, I would think about sitting on the floor cross-legged in a circle with other people, peeping through my closed eyes to see if everyone else was actually following what we were supposed to be doing or whether it was just me.
This absolutely does not appeal to me – but I recognise that for some this brings a sense of connection, inner peace, and a window of calm in what is otherwise a hectic world.
So – what is mindfulness?
In my opinion it is doing something that creates a distraction from all the inner chatter of my mind. The overthinking about a conversation I had yesterday, the worry as to why a friend hasn’t replied to a message, the concern that I’m not good enough at something…..the list goes on.
The distraction creates some space and relief from all that noise and can, in that space enable some time for reflection, enabling feelings to pass and can give me a sense of having an increased capacity to cope when I pick up my day again.
I believe that we all need a range of distractions that we can call upon in a variety of circumstances and depending on our mood. For example if I’m feeling furious about something I’m unlikely to find any form of meditation successful – however a run, some boxing or something more physical is likely to provide a suitable distraction.
My go to options at home include crochet (of which I have numerous half done projects), soup making – the chopping is therapeutic, sleep, or a date with a Netflix series.
Out and about I do use the 4-7-8 breathing technique – useful if I’m feeling dysregulated in Tesco and where I can’t whip out my crochet.