My journey with mindfulness started about 18 months ago, on a pretty uneventful spring evening. My husband was away with work and my two children were asleep in bed, and what should have been a rare opportunity for some peace and quiet from my busy, hectic lifestyle, turned into a feeling of dread for how I would cope the next day and being completely overwhelmed.
As the realisation hit, that I had had this feeling before and it was becoming a more frequent visiter, I did what any modern woman in turmoil does; I switched on my laptop and started typing my question into google, in the vein hope that the God of the internet could solve my woes. ‘How can I cope with stress?’
After perusing the NHS Direct website’s ’10 Stress Busters’ and other links, I came across a website through The Mental Health Foundation http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ that would prove to be a game changer: https://www.bemindfulonline.com/
I had heard of mindfulness in association with Buddhism and meditation – even having tried meditation classes whilst doing my degree and reading ‘Buddism Without Beliefs’ by Stephen Batchelor many years ago, but I had always thought of it as inaccessible and difficult due to the false perception that I needed to ’empty my mind’. Listening to the introductory videos on the website I was reassured that this wasn’t the overall aim and felt compelled to delve deeper.
That night, working my way through the introductory information was – without being too dramatic – a revelation to me. Straight away, I felt an unburdening, as I read that I was most likely suffering from chronic stress and that some simple exercises for a 15-20 minutes a day might help me to cope. I signed up to the online course for learning and practising mindfulness and I am not ashamed to say that I shed tears of relief and wonder that night, at the prospect that I may have found something to help with the inevitable highs and lows that life throws at you.
Since completing the course and subsequently reading/following the course that comes as part of the book ‘Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ by Professor Mark Williams and Danny Penman, I have become a regular practitioner of mindfulness meditation and I have recently trained to teach mindfulness to primary aged children.
All I can say, is that it has made a big difference to my life and how I view the world. I still have days when I feel that I can’t cope, but they are much fewer than before and pass more quickly. Mindfulness, I have learned is a practise that takes time and quiet determination, but the benefits are well worth it and I feel that the https://www.bemindfulonline.com/ website a good place to start if you are curious about what mindfulness can do for you.
I hope you enjoy it. Let me know how you get on.