A few years ago I was very depressed and was on antidepressants but one day I randomly came across meditation and decided to give it a try. After a while I decided that life was worth living and the meditation helped me to realise that. After a few months I finally felt happy and instead of filling my body with pills I decided to use meditation as my medication. I spoke to my doctor who was reluctant for me to say goodbye to the pills at first but I assured him I felt ready. This was back in 2010 and I haven’t gone back on medication. Thank you meditation.
Along with generally feeling happier there are so many other health benefits to meditating. A few examples which research has shown is that meditation can reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow, and helps reduce the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. It has also been shown that those who meditate go to the doctors less. I am so glad to share with you a free new workshop ran by the NHS in Norfolk and Suffolk that people can attend to relieve stress, anxiety and depression – this workshop is called Mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness helps us to live in the present moment by using breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. With such busy lives we tend to stress about situations that haven’t even happened yet or we just feel that we have so much to do that we worry about the future and forget to live in the beauty of the moment. Sometimes we have such a messy mind and don’t even know what is causing the stress so by using the Mindfulness techniques we can allow the feelings to come to us because we are consciously paying attention to ourselves. By doing this we can then try to understand the root of the problem of how we feel and ultimately have a better quality of life.
*Meditation – participants sit silently and pay attention to the sensations of breathing or other regions of the body, bringing the attention back whenever the mind wanders.
*Yoga – participants often move through a series of postures that stretch and flex the body, with emphasis on awareness of the breath.
*Tai Chi – participants perform a series of slow movements, with emphasis on awareness of breathing.
Easy steps to bring Mindfulness in to our lives…
During our everyday life we won’t constantly be meditating or practising yoga so below are a few ideas to help you live in the moment throughout your day.
* Observing Mindfully ~ Take time to observe your surroundings and the beauty they offer. Indulge with your senses and take notice of what you hear, feel, smell, and the colours you see. For example, if you are sat outside in your garden take notice of the birds singing, the way the trees leaves are blowing in the breeze, literally everything because this helps us live in the moment.
* Walking Mindfully ~ Go for a ten minute stroll and take notice each time your foot hits the ground and the sensations it gives you and the sound it makes. If you start thinking about other things don’t worry just focus on your feet and you will be back in the moment.
* Eating Mindfully ~ Take notice of the piece of food you’re about to eat. Look at its shape, its texture, its smell etc. Take a small bite and rest the piece of food in your mouth and notice if you can taste any flavours and how it feels then slowly chew and again take notice of the flavour, texture and if there are any changed to how it first felt in your mouth. Before taking another bite or even thinking about your next bite make sure you have completely finished the previous one so you’re fully taking everything in and being mindful.
To find out when the next Mindfulness workshop is taking place in Norfolk and Suffolk then head over to: www.readytochange.org.uk