Real life experience
Being mindful has saved me from myself. I say this now with affection as I have an understanding of the extent to which I tortured myself daily with monotonous overthinking and hours of ceaseless conversations inside my head. These quirks that had become more ingrained than a bad habit only proved to create more anxiety and leave me constantly on the edge of exhaustion. The realisation that I myself had the ability within me to take a break from my “hectic” mind seemed all too simple yet I was willing to give it a go in order to relieve myself from daily exasperation. I did resist at first, well I guess my mind wasn’t as open to change as the rest of me was. However, with gentle coaxing, patience, and self-compassion I can now bring myself to the present once again and focus solely on one moment. My mind does wander as is its way, but I have acquired the skills to calmly guide myself, by using my breath, to the now.
Even if this gives me only a few moments of respite from the jungle inside my head it is worth it. The peace and calm I feel in my body, mind and soul, created from focussing on my breath and senses, becomes stored in my memory and I am encouraged by this contentment within me to do it again and again. And I do find that the more I practiced the more second nature it becomes. It does require patience and a willingness to practice regularly with some ways being more “mindful” than others. I do feel that even the tiniest of practices enables me to reach stillness in myself and feel connected to whatever is around me, either visually or audibly. I find that mindful eating is particularly beneficial for me as I have experienced periods of eating disorders throughout my life. With mindfulness as a tool to aid pain relief so it aids me in my healthy relationship with food. Using my breath which is always with me means I always have that ability to ground myself and tune back in to my body rather than live within my mind.