As I mentioned in Interesting things last Wednesday which you can see here I have downloaded the Headspace App to test out using mindfulness meditation as a means of combating stress and anxiety. The app is made by Andy Puddicombe who is a former Buddhist monk with a degree in Circus Arts. If you are interested in the who’s, what’s and why’s of mindfulness meditation then take a look at this TED talk Andy did explaining how just ten minutes a day of getting back in touch with the present moment can help change our lives for the better- increasing happiness, productivity and wellbeing.
I find that getting lost in my thoughts and carried away with thinking about the past and worrying about the future is a commonplace problem for me and results in me being stressed, anxious and generally down about life. This anxiety leads to physical ailments such as inability to sleep, restlessness, stomach ache, headaches, sweats, over eating and emotional eating- all sorts of lovely side effects!
I am hoping that practicing mindfulness meditation will have a positive impact on my anxiety levels without me having to resort to medication like I have had to do in the past.
Another thing that is related to mindfulness that may help is the Buddhist phrase “This too will pass” which is all about the idea of non attachment. My Mom found this quote by Maya Angelou that encapsulates it in a different way:
It is difficult to remember that life is continually changing and that all things good or bad will eventually come to an end. The idea is that we do not worry about and get swept away with all the things that are happening right now- we should accept them and realise that no matter how hard it seems right now it will not always be this way. This moment will pass. And this is worth remembering for the good things too- If you spend your time in your mind thinking about the past or the future and not living in the present moment you will miss some wonderful parts of your life that you can never get back.
What do you think about mindfulness as a coping strategy? Have you or do you use it? Does it work? And if not how do you cope with the pressures of everyday life?