We’ve all had to cope with dramatic changes in our daily lives in the last few weeks. Restrictions on our movements, threats to livelihoods, fear of illness, actual illness, loss of purpose – these all impact on our emotional health and psychological wellbeing. Do you ever find that you’re reacting very emotionally in a way that feels out of control? You might lose your temper at quite minor irritations, or become very upset when things go wrong even in a small way. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a kind of vicious circle, where we have negative thoughts which trigger emotional reactions (or maybe the other way round) which leads to behaviour which in one way or another aggravates the situation, and leaves us feeling even worse!
There are many ways we can learn to distance ourselves from our thoughts and reduce the intensity of our feelings. One way is to practice specific exercises to help us relax, breathe more healthily, and notice what’s happening in the here and now. These and other valuable mindfulness tools help to still the mind and relieve anxiety and other symptoms of stress.
Here are some links to explore:
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness, says:
“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,”