Posted: 22 November 2019

Self Care Week: the importance of being mindful

Self Care Week is a chance to raise awareness of the importance of looking after ourselves.

To celebrate, one of our campaign champions, Brenna, shares with us the value of being more mindful. 

The importance of being mindful

Being mindful is about being aware of pressures and relieving yourself of their burden. Some of life's pressures may feel impossible to cope but mindfulness can help you bring them under control.  

As someone who has suffered from anxiety, mindfulness exercises have helped me acknowledge and tackle these worries. That’s not to say that I don’t have lows sometimes, but mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness exercises can help you take control of your worries.

Steps to improving mindfulness

The first thing to note is that when these worries strike us, we might not always be able to do something about it. In this situation, you need to remember to look after the present you. Here are some tips that have helped me:

Turn a regular activity into a mindful one

Most regular activities or actions can be turned into a mindful one. For example, if you regularly go for walks, try paying attention to the different sounds you can hear and break everything down into smaller details.

'break everything down'

Instead of just listening to the birds, listen out for the different pitches and try to notice the changes in volume and intensity. When you look at the leaves, notice how every leaf’s shape is different, look at the different colours, the different shades. Take time to notice the thing that you no longer have time to notice. You can try this with almost anything.

Meditation as a form of mindfulness

Try picturing yourself at the top of a mountain. Look around you and take in your surroundings. Take time doing this and maintain a slow, steady rhythm when breathing. Slowly start walking down the path and every so often imagine an obstacle e.g. a tree trunk. Imagine walking straight through that obstacle. 

'tell yourself you will get through it'

When you start to notice that you’re feeling calmer, imagine reaching your ‘Happy Place’. Mine would probably be at home watching Moana with my family but yours could be real or imaginary. Notice how you feel when you are there. Imagine feeling happy and at peace. You can pass these barriers by because you are more than them. You are more than your problems.

You are more than your problems

I’ve found that trying to be more mindful can make a real difference and I hope it can help you as much as it as helped me.

If you have a specific emotional or mental health issue that's worrying you and you would like further advice, visit our resource vault.

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