With more news globally about the continued spread of Coronavirus many of us will be more anxious. That makes the case for a mindful reset all the more relevant.
According to the Guardian, global new cases jumped to 292,500, France confirmed a marked increase in cases with a 54% rise in cases in mainland France in only one week, French and Spanish cases are at the highest level in weeks, and California saw a record number of deaths on four separate days. Of course in the UK, Boris Johnson is raising a threat of another lockdown.
I’m not sure about you, but I was just starting to adjust to my ‘new’ normal. Wearing a face mask, despite not being the easiest to breath in, has become my companion the past few weeks and means I can go into shops and socialize (at a distance). As a family, we even started planning excursions again. But, it is now very clear that uncertainty is here to stay for the foreseeable future and with that comes some anxiety.
One of the main drivers for me to turn to mindfulness originally was to deal with my own anxieties. I was constantly projecting into the future or concerned with what was going to happen that it took me completely out of the present moment. I may have looked calm, cool and collected on the outside, but on the inside, I was all over the place, constantly questioning my decisions.
As a consequence, I was not able to truly experience joy from anything I was doing for a period of time. I just felt flat. By practicing awareness and inviting some compassion into my life I was able to start seeing things for what they were and move forward, even when things appeared out of sorts.
This state awareness helped me immensely throughout lockdown. Right in the beginning, my whole work situation was thrown up in the air. What seemed secure was not, and, whilst it was a trigger for some anxiety, I overcame it because I employed my tools. I was able to accept that I have no control over some things (most things in fact), but I do have control over my own reactions. I reset my frame of mind and looked for the opportunities. And from that mindful reset, my website around Conscious Living was born.
And now, once again, with the current situation and unpredictability, we could all benefit from a mindful reset. The one thing that is certain is that change is constant. So, the more tools we have to manage through this the better.
I learned a really useful acronym recently from a Mindfulness Course I was taking through Sounds True, facilitated by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and it’s the perfect starting point.
Take a Breath
Super simple and can be employed at any time. Give it a try and see if it helps bring some awareness into your space.
Take a few moments daily to be Be Still and notice your senses.
Focus on your breath and the sensation as inhale.
Do a Body Scan and bring your attention to each body part.
Be aware of sounds in your surroundings.
Employ mindful eating and become acutely aware of the tastes and smells of the food you are eating.
Watch the sunrise or sunset.
If you’re interested in more information on Mindfulness, check out any of Jon Kabat-Zin’s books. He founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts to treat the chronically ill. Mindfulness for Beginners is a great introduction.