Mindfulness is a mental state that is achieved by focusing on the present moment while acknowledging thoughts, feelings and sensations within the body.
A therapeutic technique has been proved to relieve stress, anxiety and is used as a form of pain management, ultimately by practicing mindfulness it can contribute to a better quality of life.
Anyone can do mindfulness; children, young people and adults can all benefit and it’s simple, you can practice it anywhere and the results can be life changing – well, they were for me!
Earlier last year I was taking high doses of medication to manage chronic pain and after immersing in a pain management course I decided to stop my medication and to use mindfulness instead.
There are different ways to develop an understanding and how to practice it. Mindfulness can be learnt through a course or one of the many books you can learn through self-directed practice.
Being mindful while exercising increases breathing efficiency and also makes the experience more enjoyable. The Koorana Centre in Ardingly hosts a variety of courses.
Life is precious so live it to the full!
YogaZest in Burgess Hill offers mindfulness and yoga classes to children and teens in schools. They use ‘mindful’ movement, relaxation and storytelling to balance the body and mind.
In Sussex we are blessed with countryside walks, National Trust properties and gardens such as Wakehurst Place. A walk around grounds is a sensory joy, with exotic and native plants to enjoy.
As you walk around the gardens, try focusing your attention on the soles of your feet and how they feel as they touch the ground – notice the noise your feet make as they step on winter ground.
Focus on your breathing, the in breath and the out breath. Look up at the trees and observe the texture of the bark and branches. Are there any birds? Can you see the sunlight through the foliage?
Try and find beauty or wonder and take a moment to appreciate it. It is scientifically proven that introducing mindfulness practice into your day contributes to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
I believe that by setting aside time to focus on ourselves and appreciate our surroundings we will not only be able to cope with stress better but we will prioritise what is important in our lives.
By Georgia Lambert