A TOUCH OF CLARITY
Mindfulness, meditation, guided relaxations, you name it – it's trending.
Particularly after the year we've all had, finding that sense of connection to something has become more important than ever. People are starting to realise that sure, they can exercise, eat well, and take their ginger shots, but for some reason they still feel less than 100%.
Mindfulness V Meditation
Mindfulness is about focusing all your attention on the specific task or moment.
Meditation is the term used to describe a variety of practices such as visualisation, mantra meditation, spiritual meditation, movement meditation, and transcendental meditation.
Mindfulness In Focus
The purpose of mindfulness is to get you to completely engage with your actions. We're so used to being in a world of distraction, that we very rarely focus on one task at a time.
This allows you to:
Remain in the present moment and settle the mind
Not to waste energy dwelling in the past or anticipating the future
Focus your attention on the task at hand, completing it competently – free from distraction
When you think about it, the root of all anxiety comes from either worrying about past or future happenings or possibilities. So let me as you this: where does this get you? ... The all too true answer is, nowhere.
It's like that (somewhat overused, but nevertheless relevant) quote: "Worrying does not take away tomorrow's issues, it only takes away today's peace". I want you to let that resonate with you for a second. If we can each learn to exist mindfully in the present, unnecessary stress and anxiety will begin to dissipate.
For some reason, there seems to be a lot of stress and pressure surrounding meditation. People claim "they can't meditate" that it's "impossible to switch-off". Well, i'd say this is because you just haven't found the type of meditation that works for you.
Maybe your version of meditation is going for a beach walk. Listening to music. Deep breathing. Writing. Burning sage (me, lol). Reading. Just listening. Someone once said to me that it's not about having no thoughts, but instead about accepting the thoughts that do come through, acknowledging them, then bringing your mind back to focus.
There's no right or wrong. It defeats the purpose if you stress over stressing whilst in a form of guided meditation. You need to remember that no one is there grading you on how "well" you did. It's only you.
Active meditation is one of my favourite ways to meditate. For me this means getting lost in a task and entering a "meditative" state. When long-distance athletes are in the middle of a marathon, they often enter a trans-like state. For me, this too is meditation. They're running, focused on a task, but letting their mind go to where it needs to.
Finding Your Clarity
Below I've compiled a list of some of my favourite ways to meditate and practice mindfulness in my day. These little pockets of clarity allow you to focus and train your mind to stay present, something I feel is vitally important for stress and anxiety.
Mindful eating – enjoy your meal with distraction. No technology. Just you and your food. Focus on the taste, smell, and texture.
Grounding or earthing – spend 5 minutes of your day with your feet on the bare ground. This is excellent for reducing inflammation.
Yoga or exercise – any form of exercise will do. Whether it's 5 minutes of 55 minutes, your body will benefits.
Going for a walk – it saids blazingly obvious, but when was the last time you went for a walk? This is an excellent form of active meditation, particularly if you're alone.
Writing – pick up a pen and paper and see what happens. Personally, I write every single night. It comes out more like poetry for me, but I feel like it's having a 1:1 disclose all session with yourself. Sometimes the writing tells you a lot more about yourself than you realise.
Meditation apps – If you're looking for a more traditional meditation practice, apps like Calm truly are a great option. You'd be surprised at home many types there are to choose from. You just have to remember, if your mind wanders, that's okay.
I'd love to know what pockets of clarity you find in your day to practice mindfulness and meditation. Get in touch if you'd like to share! For me it's writing and eating mindfully, with the occasional guided deep breathing practice here and there!
I hope this week you can find some quiet time too. Make it a priority. Your wellbeing deserves it.