What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being in the NOW. Paying attention to what’s happening in this moment and this moment alone. Understanding our thoughts, our feelings, and the world around us.
People with a mental illness tend to forget to think how our bodies are feeling and what is happening in the world and living with our thoughts to the point we don’t realise our thoughts control our actions and our perspective.
Grounding is an important part of mindfulness. It keeps us focusing on the now.
What is grounding?
Grounding is a form of meditation that you can do ANYWHERE and anytime. It uses all 5 of our senses.
How it works:
Take long deep breaths.
Look for 5 things that stand out to you.
Listen for 5 different sounds.
Smell Try to smell what’s around you. Maybe it’s a candle you’re burning, cooking, flowers. Just smell
Taste. Taste the air around you. maybe you can taste the coffee you just made or if you’re at a market. Taste the food in the air.
Touch 5 things around you. A wall, your bed, a flower.
Close your eyes take a final deep breath and remind yourself you are here now and in this moment everything is ok.
How to be more mindful:
Be in the NOW
Notice your thoughts, pick out whether they’re good thoughts or bad. Notice your body the sensations. Are you tense, relaxed, hungry? Feel the air around you as you walk. If you suddenly find yourself being consumed by a thought or you feel yourself going back in time to that thing you could have done differently. This is the time to practise your mindfulness.
Do it everyday
Whether it’s in the morning what you’re having your breakfast, or in the evening sat down watching tv after a long day. It’s important to set a side a time every day to be mindful.
Do something new.
I’m not saying go for that sky dive you’ve been putting off just simple things. Put your clothes on in a different order than usual. Sit in a different seat while watching the telly. Switch it up. It’ll help you see things from a new perspective not living every day the same.
Acknowledge your thoughts
Some people find that when they stop practising being mindful all the thoughts come flooding back. You have to remember that these are only thoughts they can’t hurt you. Imagine them floating in like a thought bubble acknowledge that thought. Now is it anxiety? Is it a helpful thought? which ever it is let it float back out.
As well as the grounding techniques are also known as mindfulness yoga. Buy a plant. Name it. Water it. Care for it and watch it grow. Find a stone (not a heavy one) decorate it. Name it. Take it everywhere with you. If you feel yourself drifting away with your thoughts hold your rock and remember you’re here and you’re fine.