For the past month, I’ve spent my time reading two books focused on something the blogging community is obsessed with; mindfulness.
Mindfulness is officially defined as ‘a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.’ Basically a long-winded way of saying slowing down, and really listening to your body and mind.
Mindfulness seems to have taken over the blogging community (and the rest of the world) over the last year or two; and to be quite honest I really do welcome this. I think it’s wonderful and a really positive development, which I hope takes an actual place in people’s lives, rather than just a passing trend.
I think the reason it’s become more and more popular, is because of just how saturated our lives are becoming with the digital, and how much busier we seem to be getting. I know from personal experience how damn hard it is to simply switch off. Even if I take time off, I get seriously anxious about not doing anything. Did you know I actually can’t watch a movie anymore without doing something else? I mean.. that’s kinda bad isn’t it? I HAVE to be tweeting.. or colouring… or painting my nails.. anything! I can’t just sit still and focus on one thing.
So if you ask me to just sit and focus on my own thoughts, it’s almost impossible. I know how good it is for me in those rare times I do switch off (usually when having a nice bubble bath, because I’m too scared to read/use my phone in fear of dropping in the water). I always feel so much more in tune with my thoughts, and it’s like my mind slows down for a little while, which I desperately need. ASMR videos help me too, but I still wouldn’t say I’ve found my own ‘perfect’ technique towards mindfulness.
With the help of Ruby Wax’s new book ‘A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled’ and Chris Barez-Brown’s ‘Wake Up!’ – I am learning new tips and techniques though, and I truly think I’m getting a little better at it. Ruby Wax is known for her sharp wit and blunt humour; and this comes across fabulously in this book. She shares her own thoughts, feelings and experiences on mindfulness, with tips that get straight to the point. She’s a no nonsense woman who always screams of energy; and yet still shows how you can apply her techniques in real life situations. Which is great for me, because trying to meditate usually ends up with me going asleep.
Brown’s ‘Wake Up’ is similar in that it’s all about truly getting in touch with your own thoughts and feelings. Yet his book focuses on getting out of our ‘Autopilot’ mode that we seem to be on most of the time. You know the feeling, right? You could be taking a journey, hanging out with your other half, or working; and you’ll basically be on autopilot. Going through the motions without really paying attention. It happens sometimes, and it means we’re not living out lives to the fullest. ‘Wake Up!’ is an amazing read which I thoroughly recommend, as it gives playful tips and handy suggestions as to the best way to really experience each moment. Brown gives you experiments to try, mini adventures to take, and new ways of doing the same old tasks. After reading this, one of the first things I did was clear out my wardrobe and make a list of my most worn/favourite outfits. This is because one of his chapters talks about how we can spend too much time focusing on what to wear each day, when we can use this time to talk to loved ones before work, to go for a morning walk, or take a little more time to do something enjoyable. It made me realise how annoyed I can get just looking for an outfit some days, and I realised how pointless that was. I’ll talk more about this soon in another post, but there are definitely a whole load of real life tasks featured in this book that I found SO helpful.
I hope mindfulness isn’t a trend, because I know it’s going to take me a while to truly conquer it. A lifetime maybe, and I need all the help I can get. I love that more and more people are focusing on the present, their own mind, and real inner happiness. I can only see this as a good thing, and I hope it continues!
What do you guys think?