and how to practise it
It has been incredibly hard to focus on anything besides the Covid-19 global pandemic over the last 5 months – probably because we’ve found ourselves spending hours listening to what the ‘experts’ are saying, or reading up on the latest Governmental advice (especially with most of us working from home). We have all had thoughts here and there about what this year might have been, and what we should’ve been doing, and in some cases, those thoughts have completely overcome us, leaving us frustrated and quite frankly, exhausted.
Earlier this year, our Business Manager, Dean, embarked on a two-day course in a bid to gain a better understanding of Mental Health. He was taught how important it is to be able to notice when things get a little too much, and the best ways of dealing with natural, but sometimes irrational fluctuations in our mood.
As creative people, we at Fisch Design – and anybody who works within a creative environment – constantly get to take on new challenges, adopt different routines and adapt the way we work.
It can be easy though, to rush through life without stopping to notice much. However, paying more attention to the present moment – that is your own thoughts, feelings and surroundings – can improve your overall mental well-being, increase focus levels and also decrease sadness. This is a process called ‘Mindfulness’.
“Mindfulness is the quality of being present & fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgement, & aware of our thoughts & feelings without getting caught up in them.” - Headspace
We can use mindfulness to enjoy our lives that little bit more, and to understand the reasons behind why we do things the way that we do, understanding their patterns. When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to re-experience things that we may have been taking for granted. This awareness helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier, so that we can deal with them better. Remember, mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts disappear, but rather about seeing them as mental events. It gives us a better chance of reacting calmly and empathetically when faced with challenges and stress.
How to be Mindful
Remind yourself to take note of your own thoughts and feelings, as well as the sensations of your body and the world around you.
Embrace silence and bring your attention back to the moment when your mind starts to wander.
Cope with an over-active mind by going on a gentle walk.
Name thoughts and feelings, for example: ‘this is anxiety’ and ‘these are nerves’.
Dedicate a certain time in the day to being more mindful. This way, it becomes habit.
Notice the everyday and all of those simple things you don’t normally give any real thought to. By doing this, you give yourself huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we fall into each day. This gives us new perspectives on life. Reflect on what has happened.
Alter your lifestyle slightly… sit in a different chair at work or find a new walk to enable you to notice the world in a different way.
Practice yoga or tai-chi.
Practice mindful meditation once you feel you have made a good start into adopting the above practices.
Over time, practising mindfulness regularly helps us to develop the ability to be present throughout the day, every day. Our mental health becomes more stable and we can relate to situations with more self-empathy.