Some of you might remember how I undertook a project recently about Cosmo magazine where I tried to ‘live’ Cosmo by applying the tips, hints and advice contained within the pages of the magazine to my life. It was fun and I’ve been hoping I’d have another chance to do something fun to share on my blog. Well, the wait’s over: I have a new, slightly more ‘serious’ project to blog about.
So what’s the deal? Well, I know that I live quite a lot in my own head and I am governed by an internal monologue that is (practically) incessant, the main result of which is that I am very talkative and outgoing. But, there’s always a downside and my downside is that I can be rather anxious, flighty and I have a tenacity for sensation seeking behavior - be that drinking, listening to particular types of jubilant music or engaging in highly emotional activities (watching very sad/very happy movies, running with bulls, rolling around in a room full of kittens, eating incredibly hot chilis, you get the idea). I have learned over time to apply ‘fixes’ to compensate for these behaviors (not all of which are effective – in fact i would say the majority are counterproductive…) and although I would say that maybe 70% of what I do in my life I am happy with, the other 30% makes me distressed. Distressed that I can be emotionally unstable (at times), distressed that I can’t seem to have much say over what comes out of my mouth, distressed that I miss out on important things that could be fun in my life — all because I was paying attention to my roller-coaster interior monologue spurring me on.
So, where am I going with all this? My friend Owen (he wrote a book! you should check it out) introduced me to Mindfulness last year, and I found that I really liked it. So what is mindfulness? Well, it’s a relatively new concept in Psychology that’s based on an ancient Buddhist meditation practice. It’s been Western-ised and tested within Psychology and has proven to be incredibly helpful for people suffering from depression, anxiety and a variety of other mental health issues. Read this article to see the benefits and check out this video to learn more about it.
Hey Laura! You still haven’t told us where you’re going with this… Ok, I’m getting to it! So (deep breath) I know that mindfulness exists, and I have practiced some of the meditations before with excellent results. I know, without a doubt that doing even one mindfulness meditation helps me to immediately gain some of the calm that I want so desperately, and it also helps me to think clearly, be present and enjoy each moment. It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Just meditate for 10 minutes each day and whammo, your life improves? Yeah it’s actually true. (I’m also going to be reading a book called ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Russ Harris just for good measure, but that’s not going to start until I get back to Australia and can buy a copy! Three weeks! Argh can’t wait!)
So this blog is going to follow me as I do a mindfulness meditation every day (some days I’m probably gonna do two! ack!) partly because it’s interesting to you and also partly because the fact that I’m putting it out there will mean that I have to keep doing it
So without further ado: this blog series is called Mindful Me.
I’m going to chronicle my mood, anxiety levels, any positive or negative experiences from the day and what the mindfulness practice was. I’m also going to post links and videos for mindful practice so you can play along at home too if you want.
Well, day one is already done – I had a nice day down at Potsdam with Ducka, we had a pretty amazing schnitzel and saw some castles. Potsdam FTW. I did my mindfulness meditation when I got home and I feel calm and peaceful.
Mood: Pretty positive – have hurt my knee so I’m a little sore about that (har har) but am just happy to be warm at home and safe after a nice day out, all of which was capped off with a totally relaxing bath and a totally weird Simpsons episode. Plus I had a tasty dinner and am going to go to bed soon to laze and watch movies.
Anxiety: None. Like I said, I’m happy, fed, watered and the only thing I have to do tonight is go to bed.
Positive events: Went on a day trip, got out into the Potsdam air and hung out with Ducka.
Negative events: Have a sore knee, was tired this morning
Mindfulness practice: It was a meditation that focused on the breath, reminding us that the breath is our grounding force – we can always return to the breath! I have included a link to it here so you can listen to it too – it’s the Breath, Sound, Body meditation.
Well, that’s it for tonight, I hope this is proves to be a fun and productive project for all of us! Goodnight from Berlin.
P.S. Did I mention there’s only 18 days to go until we’re home!!!?? So excited to see everyone and hug my maaa and family x