No secret - we live in strange, uncharted, and worrying times.
Since the start of the pandemic I have been in contact with lots of people who are struggling emotionally with the uncertainty and unusualness of the world we currently live in. Now that I am able to deliver yoga classes face to face, and can speak to the people coming to my classes it is even more apparent that people are unsettled, worried, angry, and scared.
In my yoga and mindfulness groups, one of the golden threads running through each class is that we have control (to a greater or lesser degree) over what we chose to focus our attention on. We all have thoughts in our minds, and experience a wide range of emotions, but one of the principles of mindfulness is that we can allow those thoughts to come and go; and chose to focus on something else - most commonly the breath.
But these are exceptional, perhaps unique times. Whilst many of us can regard ourselves as very fortunate compared to others, we nevertheless have nagging negative thoughts and unhelpful emotional responses. Sometimes these thoughts don’t go away, and are reinforced daily by the media.
So it might be helpful to be reminded that mindfulness is mind training - and just like any kind of training it requires time and consistent effort. It is a common theme in mindfulness that we do not try and block out thoughts but that we accept them, and then consciously and deliberately turn our awareness away from them and back to the breath. Other negatives thoughts may well come into our minds (they usually do) but our response is consistent; acknowledge the thoughts for whatever they are, let them go if you can, and then return to the breath. Do this over and over and over again.
I have recorded a mindfulness video drawing on the analogy of waves coming up on the beach which I hope will help you practice this approach.
It can be found below
Please contact me to let me know how you have found the practice.
Stay physically and mentally safe.