Photo by Health by Hellcat
My anxious mind has caused me all kinds of problems through the years. I’ve been advised multiple times to practice mindfulness, but I always struggled with it and couldn’t make it “work”. My mind just wouldn’t shut up no matter how hard I tried to just let my thoughts be.
Since I started doing yoga, something finally “clicked” for me. Each class always starts with a couple of minutes of meditation (or mindfulness) and I find myself melting into my mat and letting whatever thoughts come at me, be. Every day is of course different, depending on what experiences I’m carrying with me when I get on my mat I find that it is sometimes easier, and sometimes harder to still my mind.
I’ve started taking these short meditations in yoga class with me in my day-to-day life and I do these micro mindfulness exercises throughout my day. Whenever I feel myself getting irritated, stressed out, or worked up about something, that’s my cue to focus in on my breathing and be in the present moment. It makes a huge difference! Mindfulness really isn’t that complicated, it doesn’t need to be perfect or according to some specific rules – just by observing where my mind and body is at today, I’m meditating.
I have a lot more I want to say about mindfulness but I’ll save it for a later post. For now I’ll just give you this interesting TED Talk by Nick Seaver that I listened to the other day. Nick and his wife spent 18 months in the Rocky Mountains in full time silent retreat, as part of the first major scientific study on meditation. More and more studies are being done on mindfulness and thankfully, more doctors and scientist are acknowledging the power mindfulness has on health, wellbeing, and healing.