CHANGE IS INEVITABLE and can be unsettling whether it concerns our country, or more personally our health, finances or relationships. When life is flowing smoothly we can become attached to that feeling of being in control and resist having a different experience. In our resistance we can find ourselves worrying as we look into the future and wonder what might happen, often imagining worst case scenarios and giving ourselves sleepless nights.
Many people spend a great deal of time maintaining a healthy body, but what about the mind? We allow it to carry us away on a train of thought which can often make our situation feel much worse and so fill us with fear. When faced with a new challenge, feelings of fear are quite normal, but when we start to create alarming stories in our mind then it is unhelpful. There is an acronym for FEAR which is False Evidence Appearing Real and it is amazing how much energy we can waste on concerns which never come to anything.
So how can we understand the mind and handle uncertainty? I have found the answer in Mindfulness as have thousands of other people. It is now used in hospitals to help people handle pain and depression, business’s offer training to employees to reduce stress and it is being taught in schools. It is not a quick fix, but can become a useful tool to support you for the rest of your life. Mindfulness teaches the importance of being kind to yourself rather than criticising and many people find this a worthwhile alternative.
Victor Frankl who spent years in a concentration camp wrote “between the stimulus and the response is a space and in this space lies our power and freedom.”
One way of finding that “space” is through meditation which provides precious time for you to be with yourself away from the demands of life. In this space it is possible to find peace and perspective giving you the strength to face whatever life throws at you. Mindfulness teaches you to live in the NOW and find meaning in the present moment no matter how small and insignificant the experience might be.
If you want to manage your life through change and uncertainty and open yourself up to opportunities then learning to practice mindfulness is one of the most powerful things you can do. As one client wrote:
“My partner and work colleagues have noticed how differently I deal with stress and anxiety. My life is easier and more balanced and I enjoy it more.”
I teach the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course and I have been trained by the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. To find out more please email me: [email protected] or visit my website: www.freedom-with-mindfulness.co.uk. My next course starts in October 2016.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.” William James