Updated: Feb 20
Many of us lead hectic and busy lives, we’re juggling work, family, friends and kids, running a house trying to have a social life (when we’re not in lockdown!) All that juggling means we get out of the habit of paying attention to ourselves and how we feel which can result in us feeling stressed and worn out.
Research has shown that these kinds of stresses can exacerbate pain conditions and that regular mindfulness techniques can help us to reduce pain and take back control of our lives.
Mindfulness, meditation – isn’t it just hippy crap?
Mindfulness simply means being in the moment, i.e. a human being rather than a human doing!
Meditation and mindfulness are really easy to practise and just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference.
Like all skills, mindfulness and meditation need practice. Set aside a regular time every day to practise the simple steps below and you will find it gets easier and easier to be in the moment. Just 10 minutes is all you need.
Read it through as many times as you need to and start when you're ready.
· Sit comfortably on a chair, feet uncrossed and flat on the floor. Rest your arms on your legs or lap.
Spend a moment taking in your surroundings.
Gently close your eyes.
· Release your shoulders from your ears, unclench your jaw and remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth. · Take 3 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling out through the mouth. Inhale and exhale a little deeper with each breath if you can. · Feel your body relaxing down with each breath you take. Feel the rhythm of your breath. Focus on the rhythm.
· You may find it helpful to count your breaths.
As you feel the rising sensation of the in breath count 1.
As you feel the falling sensation of the out breath you count 2 just silently to yourself.
Continue counting in that way up to 10.
When you reach 10 stop and start again at 1.
If your mind starts to wander just gently come back to counting your breathing.
· Feel your body relaxing down from your head to your toes.
Relax your shoulders, your arms, hands and fingers. Feel your body releasing and moving with your breathing.
Relax your back, relax your legs, your ankles, feet and toes.
· Feel yourself relaxing down deeper.
· When you're ready to come back, feel the physical sensation of your back on the chair, your feet on the floor. Feel your hands and arms resting on your legs. Feel the rhythm of your breath. You may want to gently wiggle your fingers and toes. Start become aware of your surroundings and when you are ready slowly bring yourself back into the room and gently open your eyes.
Below is a video link so you can listen along.