A lot of people think mindfulness involves lots of meditation, sitting around silently and still. I do meditate and will later on talk on that, but I thought for my first coping skills post I would focus on the one thing you should be doing every day!
Daily mindfulness practice can incorporate a whole routine for some people but even on the days when I 'm too frazzled to meditate I always do this.
Most people think they are, but in reality when doing mundane things our minds often get away from us. This can be avoided, and a level of relaxation achieved, by doing things "mindfully"..that is.. Giving it 100% of our concentration.
Washing up is fairly mundane, and for me is often a naughty brain moment. I deal with it like this..
How do the plates feel? Slippery? Can you feel any bits of dirt? How about the water? How hot is it? How does it feel on your hands? Soothing?scorching?? The bubbles, can you see a rainbow in a bubble? How do the bubbles smell...and so on.
This really helps me to stay focused and calm. Focusing hard on the task I am doing. Being in the moment. Not yesterday, not tommorow. Now.
Yesterday brings regret. Tommorow looms, overshadowing everything with uncertainty. Now.. Is real. It is the ONLY thing that is real. Everything else is a memory or a thought about what comes next.
The same trick can be employed soaking in the bath (this causes me to spend a lot on nice smelling bath bubbles and candles..soothing bliss!) Or eating..really focusing on the flavour, texture of food. Eating slowly. Feeling yourself fill up (also really helped me lose weight).
Every time you feel your mind start to wander away from the task bring it gently back. Don't fight your mind. Gently let the thought pass. We have thoughts. Thats what brains do! But its up to us to decide if we hold onto the thought or emotion, or gently release it. Moving our mind back to the now, here, the task.
There are alterative mindful ways to do many things and I will be sharing them on this page along with other mental health exercises.
Try it out! I hope you have a relaxing day.