Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mindfulness, the cilosophy way.

Perhaps mercifully I have not been internet shopping and have nothing to show you.

Actually that's probably a lie; nothing has tickled my fancy enough to want to buy it.

Today comes another navel-gazing post. Well not navel gazing. Quite the opposite.

In order to get my body ready for being a  sacred vessel of the wonder of new life(?!), I have had to make some changes to medications. That finely tuned neurotransmitter and hormone balance that keeps me well and functioning has been upset, and other things need to be brought in to maintain that balance.

Don't worry! I am ok! Thankyou for asking!

I am exercising regularly. I have cut back on alcohol. I wear clean undies and wash behind my ears.

One of the things I have been encouraged to practice is mindfulness. It is a cognitive therapy based on Buddhist meditation.

Imagine you get a bothersome and unpleasant thought in your head. It could be reality based.
The thought becomes bigger and darker.
It becomes so real. It is like that thing you thought about is actually occurring.
You get the physical signs of that thing actually occurring. The breathing quickens, the pulse quickens and becomes palpable. You feel sick, or can't sleep.

Thing is, it's not actually happening. In fact, 90% of the unpleasant thoughts and worries don't actually occur. If you are thinking about an unpleasant thing from the past, it is just that: past. It is not the here and now.

Cognitive behavioural therapy gets us to challenge the beliefs that occur as a result of these thoughts. I can be quite good at that.

Mindfulness gets us to stop the thought. Hold on for a minute, without judgement or letting it affect you too badly. Then let it go. Return to the here and now, mainly by concentrating on your internal signals like your breath, and your surroundings.

I actually find concentrating on the breath quite anxiety provoking, to be honest, but the theory is good. I am told it actually helps with frontal lobe function (that bit of your brain that carries on higher functions like planning).

The here and now is actually not at all threatening.
My situation at the moment, my life, is actually....really really good. I need to go back to that.

Here is a link to some short mindfulness exercises from the black dog institute - anyone can try them.

Do you meditate? How do you go with it?


  1. Thank you for this timely reminder about the importance of mindfulness and perspective.

    SSG xxx

  2. Sorry to hear you've been feeling a little rocky emotionally. I remember someone was on Oprah once, years ago, and something they said stuck with me (it might have been Deepak Chopra). He said "the pain is not caused by the actual act, it is thinking about it and holding onto it after that causes the pain." So true, and definitely in the mindfulness zone you are speaking of. I remembered it because I had been feeling very bitter about a long term boyfriend who unceremoniously dumped me, and it was nearly 6 months later and I was not over it. Something in that resonated with me, and I just let it all go. It made me feel so free and light emotionally to just dump all the negativity. In that instance, I just moved on. Amazing what Oprah could do….. xx

  3. The hubs meditates and it has had such a positive effect on him. I used to do yoga and i was physically in better shape though mentally it doesn't seem to do a lot for me. But good that people find their own way to mental peace and a way to just regroup.