In a nutshell:
This page is a guide to giving your head a little loving hug…
- Why we need to be mindful
- Seven tips to master mindfulness
- Apps and links to aid you
The mind is a delicate part of our make-up and just like we know we should keep our physical body fit, we need to ensure the health of our head is right up there on our important list too.
All too often carers experience mental health issues as a direct result of their caring role. The pressure and expectations of caring can make carers particularly vulnerable to stress and depression. So how can mindfulness meditation help you to steer clear of these issues?
We love what Headspace, a brain gym aimed at keeping your mind active and in tip top shape, are doing and we’re keen to encourage all carers to join the million existing Headspace users in making time to “Treat your head right!”
They say: “For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Our experience, and that of Headspace members, suggests that regular mindfulness practice, through meditation, is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships.”
Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace, offers this seven step routine to master mindfulness:
Find a quiet space where you can relax.
Defocus your eyes, gazing softly into the middle distance.
Take a few moments to settle into your body. Gently observing your posture and notice the sensations of your body on the chair. Acknowledge your senses.
Scan your body:
Turn your mind inwards and scan your body from head to toe observing any tension or discomfort.
Observe the breath:
Bring your attention to your breathing, don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in your body.
Allow your mind to be free:
Spend 20-30 seconds just sitting. You might find yourself inundated with thoughts and plans, or feel calm and focusing, whatever happens is completely fine.
Prepare to finish
Become aware once more of the physical feelings, of the chair beneath you, where your feet make contact with the floor, your arms and your hands resting in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.
You can download the app for free from the button at the top and bottom of this page which entitles you to a daily ten minute dose of mindfulness on the move – whenever and wherever!
You can also start a free taster of the Be Mindful course that guides you through all the elements of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
The online course is run by Wellmind Media in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, a UK charity for everyone’s mental health.