Mindfulness in Lockdown
Updated: May 17, 2020
As coronavirus spreads around the world and many of us now find ourselves living life under lockdown with the inevitable frustrations, days of anxiety and stress. Mindfulness can be a helpful way to manage your body and stress. If you’re not already practicing it, this is a great time to start.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of what is happening right now, while you are doing what you are doing (being in the present moment).
When we take the time to ask, what am I thinking? How am I feeling the present moment, we actually raises serotonin, which makes you happier, and calmer. It’s simple to do, and by putting the minutes, and culmatively, hours in with a regular practice, you will notice dramatic improvements. Sounds great, doesn’t it?!
So how can you start? A tip is to start small and build up. Here’s a couple of short exercises you can repeat regularly, to get you going:
1. Disassociating from unhelpful thoughts Used by top sportsmen, you can use your breath to anchor yourself, and gain focus. The 3-4-5 breath is an easy one to practice. Simply: breathe in for three seconds, hold it for four seconds, and breath out for five seconds. Repeat for 1-2 mind You can do this when you remember, or set a timer 3 times a day to remind you.
2. A simple emotional holiday
Choose an everyday activity, and pay close attention to how that activity pays out, what do you notice? One example could be to use washing your hands as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. We can pay special attention the feeling of the water flowing onto our hands, how it feels to rub the soap onto the skin, around the fingers, then rinsing them. What does the temperature feel like, how does the water flow off our hands. How does it feel to dry our hands? By repeating any of these practices several times a day, we give our brains an emotional holiday, where we aren’t thinking, or worrying about corona virus or the future, we’re just staying with the present action of breathing, or washing our hands.