The practice of mindfulness has come up a lot recently, in sessions with my clients as well as conversations with friends.
It's funny from an outside perspective when people are talking about some of the problems they are having and the blocks they have come up against, we often can see what they can't. When I am working with people, or even listening to friends, the answers to what they're going through seem evident.
I have found that most of the time, what people need is to just be more mindful. It is quite obvious to be, looking in from outside of people's problems, that the answer is mindfulness in most cases. And usually, it's people who need it most that are the most scared of it!
The mindfulness fear is that it would be impossible to achieve, and the busier and more overwhelmed that you are, the harder it is to even consider trying.
Mindfulness does not have to be a solo, isolated, time consuming practice. Sure, if you have time go ahead and spend hours meditating and journalling a day!
But if you are one of many that are scared by this concept, you are not alone and there are so many resources you can use to help support you in adopting this beneficial practice.
Apps help you to stay on track by normalising what you are going through and guiding you step by step through the mindfulness process. I use the Calm app (which has great resources for kids too) and have also heard great things about the Smiling Mind app.
Mindfulness and meditation groups are useful for being accountable to your practice as they often have courses you have to enrol in for a certain number of weeks. These groups serve as a wonderful way to meet like-minded people and most of them involve guided practices as well as take home techniques for you to get into the habit of mindfulness in your everyday life. If you live in Newcastle, Hunter Mindfulness has some great courses and classes, otherwise Google mindfulness in your area.
Starting small is key to making this practice sustainable. Start with one minute. Build to two minutes as you are comfortable. Maybe then you can increase to five minutes. Not having time is not an excuse, everyone has two minutes per day, you just have to prioritise it (and yourself, which is a whole other conversation).
Beginning with a guided mindfulness practice is a great place to start. Having someone talk you through the process makes is much less scary and will help ease you into it. What will happen when you begin this process is your mind will be racing so quickly, it's easy to get off track and become overwhelmed. Guided mindfulness helps to take away that stress, as all you need to do is listen and absorb.
Here are ten quick and easy to follow guided mindfulness audio clips to get you started.
Stay tuned to my Facebook page for more resources, tips and advice around mindfulness in the coming weeks!
If you didn't join in our gratitude challenge, it's not too late! The group is still open and you can jump in anytime to complete the challenge (or again if you have fallen off the gratitude train).