Mindfulness: our mind and our body are inextricably linked.
If you are feeling anxious about the current situation, or at any time when you are feeling worried, you may also experience this in your body. Greater tension in our muscles can lead to an achy pain, most likely around your neck and shoulders or maybe in your lower back.
Mindfulness is one way of relieving this tension. The key to it is to concentrate on the present moment as only the present moment is real – the past only exists in your memory and the future only in your imagination.
Of course both of these are important, but constantly dwelling on things that can’t be changed (the past) or that may never happen (the future) can be damaging to your wellbeing.
Mindfulness is about learning to appreciate this moment. We need to accept whatever we are feeling in the moment and understand that whatever we are feeling is transitory and will pass. The moments we tend to remember are those most linked with extreme emotions, either positive or negative; mindfulness grounds us in noticing the less extreme moments and helps us to relax.
Mindfulness can be found in any situation, all you need to do is to engage all of your senses, for example –
- When you are having a shower, notice the temperature of the water, the sound of the spray and the smell of the shampoo;
- If you are in the garden or by an open window, listen to the sound of the birds, feel the breeze on your face, the warmth of the sun and the smell of the flowers;
- At mealtimes you can eat mindfully by chewing slowly, savouring the taste, smell and texture of the food; also, by feeling grateful for all the people and processes that brought the food to your plate (especially now!) gives you a whole new eating experience!
- If you are having trouble sleeping, notice how you are feeling and do a ‘body scan’. Just notice how you are breathing, don’t try to change it. Start at your toes and work up, seeing if there is anywhere you are holding onto tension, slowly relaxing each part of your body. Don’t try to force sleep – just being restful will help.
So when going about your day-to-day life, instead of busily thinking about the things that are going on in your life and shutting off everything around you, decide to be mindful. Suddenly the sights, sounds and smells will rush in and you will be amazed that you hadn’t noticed them before.
Mindfulness will also allow any tense, aching muscles a little bit of well-deserved time off.
If however, this doesn’t help and your pain persists, you could also book in for an appointment with one of the Richards team to see if they can help.
Read our blog on making the most of your one hour of exercise during lockdown for more information.
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