Recently I've been writing about coping skills and I wanted to continue that theme of finding healthy ways to cope. Mindfulness is a great way to relax, but sometimes people make it more complicated than it has to be. I watched this short TED talk from Andy Puddicombe, where he talks about mindfulness. I found it helpful and it encouraged me to continue working on being mindful.
Andy talks about your mind being a precious and valuable resource that you need to take care of and protect. Mindfulness is a way to protect your mind. He also talks about people no longer being present in life and mindfulness is a way to have focused presence in life, even if it's only for 10 minutes a day.
He says mindfulness doesn't mean that you have to say a certain phrase over and over again or sit in a certain position. Mindfulness is allowing thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment and familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. He uses a metaphor of juggling to go through some typical reactions to mindfulness, such as getting anxious about being anxious, intrusive thoughts coming in over and over again. He normalizes these experiences and encourages people to keep trying.
Several months ago, I tried some mindfulness exercises. I ate berries and chocolate mindfully. Anything that involves chocolate I find delightful, so I enjoyed that part immensely :-) I also went on a mindful walk. I discovered that my mind goes in a million different directions all at once, so being mindful is kind of hard for me. But I also discovered that once I started practicing, it became easier. I learned that it helps me slow down and actually see the world around me. I noticed the colors and shapes of leaves, the way the leaves moved in the wind and the sounds of the water in the brook nearby. I still can't do it for too long, but I try to be mindful on my regular walks at my local park.
Have you ever tried mindfulness or meditation? What was your reaction?