6 Ways Mindfulness Can Help You!
Mindfulness put simply is a mental state where you focus on you, in that present moment and put all thoughts away. I like to picture clouds in my mind and as they come, I put any unwanted thoughts into them and then watch them drift away. By doing this it helps you to realise what it important and what isn’t.
I started doing Mindfulness when I was in school and basically it was a 6 week course that went through a different aspect of it each week. Once I started, I never looked back. It was so incredibly helpful for not only my mind, but my illness and almost anything else that was troubling me.
A simple technique I use is the 4-4 breathing technique. I simply sit back, or lie down, close my eyes and count my breathing; 4 counts breathing in, and 4 counts breathing out. The aim is to count slowly and match your breathing with the numbers – not the other way round! After I have my breathing steady, that is when I start to use the cloud image, separating my thoughts and ‘putting them away’.
In this post I will be describing how Mindfulness can help you:
Mindfulness really helps you to destress and stop thinking and worrying about the little, unimportant things as you can just let those fly away in a cloud to the back of your mind.
2. Weight Loss
Mindful eating is particularly helpful if you are trying to lose weight – it puts you in the moment for just enjoying the food and helps to limit distractions while you are eating. It can also prevent binge eating which is a huge problem for people trying to lose weight. This technique keeps you in the moment and keeps you mindful on what you are eating, and how much you are eating. Using Mindfulness allows you to still have and enjoy your cheat meal, but helps to prevent that sick, bloated feeling when you’ve eaten too much.
3. Brain Fog
Anyone living with an illness that causes brain fog will find this really helpful. This is because brain fog stops you from being able to think clearly; it can cause you to forgot simple things and it can make you really frustrated and angry. By doing mindfulness, it takes away that frustration you feel and it has actually helped me remember whatever it is that I forgot!
4. Anxiety or Panic Attacks
I have had a few panic attacks in the past couple of years and I can quite often feel anxious. The one thing that helps is just closing my eyes, switching off from the outside world and doing some mindfulness. I can’t tell you how much this method has saved me from fully developed panic attacks, and since I started doing this when I felt one coming on, I haven’t actually had a proper panic attack!
5. Pain Management
If you suffer from any sort of pain, mindfulness can help you. This is because it takes your mind off everything else, including the pain. By not concentrating on the pain, you can put it out of your mind and it almost releasese it from your body a bit. I’m not saying you forget about that pain or that the pain just disappears, because it doesn’t.But what it does do is it takes your mind off what you are experiencing. You can also use mindfulness to focus on different areas of your body and focus on different points of pain – this can be helpful if your pain is spread out over your body. By doing this it can help you to accept the pain and understand what it happening in your body.
6. Sleeping / Insomnia
I often use Mindfulness to help me get to sleep, especially in the past couple of weeks. Some nights it’s been 2am before I’ve got to sleep. But by using the breathing technique it stops your mind from racing and it helps to relax you and therefore helps you get to sleep. It doesn’t always work but when I’m desperate I use it and even if it doesn’t get me to sleep it helps to stop me stressing about not getting to sleep and to just relax – it’s better than nothing!
There are other ways to practice mindfulness as well. For example, I have recently started using The Mindfulness Colouring Book which I got for my birthday and it is literally just a colouring book. But when I start to feel overwhelmed with Uni work or anything else, I just spend 5 minutes colouring this in and I promise you, when you finish it’s like the world has been lifted from your shoulders!
There are various apps and websties that can help you start doing mindfulness; one I definitely recommend is Calm. Other websites I recommend you look at if you’re interested are:
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Have you tried Mindfulness?
What helps you to relax?
What could Mindfulness help you with?
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