*So short, even my kids might read it!
When I see anxious clients, I try to introduce them to Mindfulness if I think it might help. People with chronic worry and a stream of “What if?” questions are better off not trying to chase the worries. However, when the worry is so persistent we might need a little help just to refocus. Being in the here and now is a great way to do this.
It doesn’t work for everyone – I have been laughed at on several occasions when I have tried to model Mindfulness- but for 1 or 2 minutes out of your day, do you have much to lose but giving it a whirl? You can literally do it ANYWHERE and even with your pet!
There are plenty of great meditation and Mindfulness apps out there but sometimes it’s just easier to use our surroundings. So when you realise you are falling down a rabbit hole of worry:
Think about doing this for 60 seconds (you can guesstimate this).
Stop what you are doing (go on, put that phone down!)
Attend to what’s going on around you using your five senses.
What can you:
- Hear – birds, traffic, running water, a clock ticking, sing along to the radio and engage with the lyrics (so it’s not just background noise)
- See – counting objects around you can be a good one or looking at the colours, shapes etc.
- Smell – this time of year is easier if you’re outside and can smell the smells of nature! brew some coffee and just inhale that lush scent for a minute.
- Taste – suck a sweet if that helps or just recognise the taste in your mouth.
- Feel – touch something, put your hands in your pocket or use your tongue to touch your teeth.
The last 3 can be trickier but actually you can usually feel your tongue in your mouth and become aware of this, you might have a metallic taste in your mouth, you might be able to smell fresh air (most things smell of something).
If it helps you can use the fingers and thumb of one hand to go through these. You are only trying this for 60 seconds to begin with. Does something happen to your worry? Even for that one minute, whilst you ground yourself in the here and now?
You have just been mindful!