It’s hard to say when I first came across Mindfulness, I remember getting the Mindfulness App when I was looking for something to send me to sleep (it worked), but I’ve never really been able to get to grips with mindfulness practice.
I’ve read books (I do recommend Ruby Wax’s ‘Sane New World’), tried the Headspace app, and even did it in my CBT sessions, but I just cant escape the thought that I’m doing it wrong.
Now this is silly, as there is no right/wrong way of practicing mindfulness. That’s (apparently) the beauty of it.
I’m the same as so many people out there – my brain doesn’t switch off. It quietens when I’m busy, for instance, it’s not so bad at the moment as I am concentrating on writing, but my goodness does that internal voice get shouty when I go to bed!
This morning, much like many other mornings, I woke up around 4am, thee birds were singing and I could hear the sheep sheeping in the field, so I thought I’d have a go at putting some of the things I’ve learned about mindfulness into practice.
So I lay on my back, and try to relax. I’m listening to the birds, then ‘I wonder what kind of bird that is?’, and I’m then thinking about sodding birds. ‘Let the thoughts pass through your mind like leaves on the water’. Sheep are sheeping. ‘How many sheep are in that field now? I’ll have to ask if he’s got more.’
I went on like this for about 15 minutes before I ended up just putting on Radio 4 Extra. The noise quiets my brain, you see.
I suspect that my problem is that I become too focused on doing it. I concentrate too much on it.
When we did it in my CBT session, I had a panic attack, and came over really dizzy. I don’t know what happened, I think that as she was telling me to focus on my breathing, I just end up not breathing properly!
I used to relax by running a nice bubbly bath, and sitting in it for as long as I could get away with. Often I’d be in there for upwards of an hour! Now, I can’t remember the last time I was totally and utterly relaxed. I can’t remember the last time my mind was peaceful.
Do you practice mindfulness? Do you have any tips? Do share them!