Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mental Health Awareness Week; Mindfulness

This year's theme is Mindfulness, which is perfect timing as I have just started exploring this after reading Ruby Wax's book on the subject called Sane New World. Mindfulness just you to focus on the here and now using breathing techniques and meditation. Stop pulling that face, it's not a "new age" thing.

Mindfulness is not about clearing the mind, it helps people observe the way they think and feel about their experiences, whether good or bad. This can really change the way you manage and react to stressful situations, giving you a valuable tool to stay mentally healthy, and an ever-expanding body of evidence shows that it really works.

For me who suffers with anxiety and worry, it makes me acknowledge that I can experience these things and its normal for me. Once I labelled the emotion and the physical attributes it made it feel smaller.There are different versions, but the most common and most useful I've found is RAIN:

Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with kindness;
Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying
with the experience.

Mental Health Foundation is promoting a four week course with Be Mindful and most importantly it's free.They want to be able to introduce this as part of the range of therapies offered currently as it has been proved to be successful and will hopefully help people awaiting treatment.

For me, it has already helped more than CBT as I'm not going over past events which can make me feel more anxious. I find it's more soothing and I come out of it refreshed. I do as little or as much as I want, I also use Buddify app from Google Play (£1.99) which provides guided medications for different situations. It has been a revelation to my mental health.

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