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Mindful Monday: Mental Health Awareness Week

Published: 18 May 2020
Close up image of blades of grass

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and we are focussing on one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing each weekday. One of the Five Ways to Wellbeing is "Take Notice", so today we are celebrating Mindful Monday.

Mindfulness is a way of learning to pay attention to the present moment and relate directly to whatever is happening in our lives. By practising these skills in meditation, we may become aware of the difference between being on automatic pilot and experiencing mindful awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us.

Increased mindfulness may also lead to the ability to choose different attitudes and behaviours and therefore can be helpful in increasing self-esteem, decreasing depression and anxiety, or to change our relationship with pain or other physical difficulties.

Mindfulness is not about ‘clearing’ your mind but about observing thoughts as they come in – the NHS described it as “standing at a bus station and seeing ‘thought buses’ coming and going, without you having to get on a thought bus and get taken away”.

There are different types of mindfulness practices that you can try to see what works for you, for example: guided meditation, breathing exercises, mindful eating, and mindful movement. You can try guided mindful meditations through apps and webpages:

If mindful meditation isn’t your thing, there are other ways to take notice, or be mindful, in daily life:

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Clear the clutter from your desk or room
  • Take a different route when going to a regular place

You may wish to try out different times for practising mindfulness to see what works best for you. For example, you might find that practising mindfulness in the morning helps you to start the day off well, or that you find it helps you relax before bed. 

Three minute mindfulness

Try this three minute mindfulness video

Watch via Youtube
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