During these difficult times, when we are locked down, many not going to work, many not able to carry on with what was our normal day to day lives, we can find we just get through the day by doing stuff.

Even when we are on our own, when you would think we would have more time to ourselves, we just end up “doing”. The days just merge in to one and, although go quite slowly, on the other hand we look back and another week has gone….somewhere.

Mindfulness is a concept that encourages us to just stop, to take a moment and, just be.

Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, as reported on the NHS website, states that Mindfulness is actually about being aware. Paying more attention to ourselves, our own thoughts and feelings; and by doing so, improve our mental wellbeing.

What is mindfulness?

Professor Williams, goes on to say, “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.”

“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.”
“It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

“Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: ‘Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?’

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
“Even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk,” says Professor Williams. “All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”

Much more detailed information can be found on the NHS website via the link below

There is also a really great short video explaining mindfulness and an associated exercise by Every Mind Matters at:

Finally, as Professor Williams says, Mindfulness isn’t the answer to everything but there is encouraging, ongoing evidence to suggest it can help improve our wellbeing.
So why not give it a try. It’s probably a good a time as any.