Bill and I went on a bluebell walk recently.
A walk we have done many times over the years to Hampton Wood. It is a peaceful and tranquil place and on this occasion, we had it all to ourselves.
Seeing the carpet of bluebells through the trees looked mystical and magical. The haze of blue looked so beautiful and serene and the sounds of the birds singing in the trees created a wonderful soundscape. Each year I appreciate it as if it was the first time.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation which consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Your breathe is used as an anchor to help keep you in the present moment. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you. Over time you come to realise that thoughts are not real and they come and go of their own accord.
You are not your thoughts.
Reminding yourself to take notice of any thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step towards mindfulness. It enables you to step out of automatic pilot and become fully present in your everyday life which improves your mental health and physical well being.
January & February is hard for many people. Those grey days can bring you down and it can sometimes feel like the bad stuff life throws at you happens exclusively during this time of year. Despite all this, we’re always hearing about how important it is to maintain a positive attitude, even when it’s hard to do so. The question becomes how to maintain a positive attitude, even when the world feels like it’s falling down around you.
First of all… Why is a positive attitude SO important? We hear about it all the time, with people telling us to “Be More Positive”, but what is it about that optimistic attitude that is actually beneficial to us? Well, the obvious one is that being more positive feels better. When you’re feeling positive, the world around us seems to be a whole lot easier to manage and we feel like we can take on anything. But, interestingly enough, it doesn’t stop there:
A positive mental attitude can do wonders for our physical well-being, too. When you think positively, your brain releases a hormone called serotonin, more commonly known as the Happy Hormone. Sounds good, right? It gets better: This happy hormone doesn’t just regulate your overall mood, it has a direct influence on your immune system. In other words: more serotonin means a better immune system, which means better overall health. You can literally think yourself healthy!
Do you live in a fast-paced world with constant demands on your time?
Are you continually being pulled in different directions with work, family and other commitments and no time for yourself?
Maybe you are constantly plugged into your laptop or mobile phone, leaving you with very little down time?
Do you experience a constant feeling of un-ease and find it hard to relax?
So many pressures in life today can make you feel stressed.