I’ve been trying out a bit of mindfulness lately, taking time out to appreciate the good stuff, instead of getting so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It might sound a bit hippy-ish (then again, I could always see myself as something of a hippy) and some people might consider it weird, but I am doing my best to not let that cloud my perspective, and actually, I think it says more about them than me.
So, mindfulness is essentially about living in the moment, rather than rushing from one thing to the next without actually noticing what’s going on. It’s recommended by the NHS as way of improving mental wellbeing, and is essentially just a matter of being aware of yourself, your thoughts (good or bad) and your surroundings. Easy huh? What’s the big deal? Well, for me, it’s not always as easy as it sounds! Gradually, though, it’s becoming more natural for me. This morning, instead of being a bit grumpy that Son#1 broke a glass, I found myself being grateful for the fact that my firstborn is happy to empty the dishwasher without being asked. It was rather liberating to feel like that, and my relaxed attitude grew as a result. While walking my poodle, instead of keeping my head down against the cold autumn air, I basked in the chill, and savoured the sights and sounds of the morning – the birds tweeting, the spider’s webs glistening in the dew. It’s amazing what you see when you stop and look around, and it’s great to find beauty in the mundane.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I’m trying to pass my new attitude on to my children – trying to encourage them to pay attention to their feelings in an attempt to realise that feelings are okay, whether positive or negative. It’s only really by being aware of negative feelings that we can do something to change them, and use our logical side to rationalise thoughts that simply aren’t true. Positivity is powerful tool, and can help to overcome many obstacles, but when things are worrying me, it’s really hard to stay rational and not let emotions take over. That one is a work in progress, but I’m getting there, bit by bit. Finding a little corner of peace certainly helps in this frantic world I seem to rattle around in!
I’m trying hard to follow the bee’s example and take time to collect the pollen instead of buzzing manically from flower to flower, and ending up with nothing to show for it. And if I have a choice, I’d rather choose happiness.
How do you take time out to refocus and be yourself?