Guest post & comic strip from Mat:
You could say that I’ve always been somewhat of a worrier – not quite full-blown anxiety, but certainly a lot of stressing about the little things, needing to always consider contingency plans and dwelling on the worst-case scenarios.
I’ve been doing a little mindfulness practice the last couple of weeks, and I can personally report some excellent results. A few minutes a day of either guided mindfulness or some unguided time focusing on breathing and quietening the mind has injected some calm into my brain that I didn’t know it was capable of.
Petty annoyances have dropped away, complicated problems are easier to handle and I’m even being kinder to the people I encounter in my day, friends and strangers alike. Some familiar worry lines are still there in my thoughts, but it’s easier to recognise them for what they are and set them aside.
Where to start? ‘Start small’ is my recommendation, that’s what I’ve done. Download a free and straight-forward guided mindfulness app like Smiling Mind. No doubt your day is packed to the brim with stuff you have to do, but 5 minutes of one of the guided sessions will make the rest of the day that much more manageable.
The book Quiet the Mind (available for a browse in the Crown Court waiting room) is also a great starting point, and the documentary The Connection will get you thinking about the convergence of mindfulness and medical science.