I’m full, of mindfull..ness

Do you remember the year the, ‘keep calm and carry on’ sign came out? We all liked its strong message and had a little chuckle about how and where it was used. Suddenly, it was everywhere: mugs, posters at work and even a pair of knickers where– ‘keep calm and carry on’ changes its meaning! Unless you have been living in a time capsule, you will have noticed the bombardment of the ‘mindful’ culture: books, toys, downloads, apps, classes and even our beloved Ladybird books doing a satirist take off of mindful books – which are brilliant I might add. The problem is that we become overloaded when overwhelmed on any subject and that subject fails to stand out and even becomes annoying, most often we tune it out. Think of when you hear a song you love on the radio but a few weeks later you can’t stand it because you played it on repeat. After karaoke nights in my early twenties, Celion Dion moved into this category.

Mindfulness is just another word for meditation. Given the secular nature of our current society, to make cash, you rename. So, rename, remove the religion, oh and another change is to say that it’s good to be mindful of the moment you are in. I can tell you with the demands of a coaching and hypnotherapy business and five kids, I’m always aware of the moment I’m in and how it’s not long enough! Our world is so fast paced that the demand for quick fixes due to our painfully low toddler attention spans, means that like our exercise, even relaxation must come in quick hits. I get so many clients looking for coaching or hypnotherapy who say they have been usings apps or journals and yet can't sustain longer term change. 

For me, this phrase that started out as a great idea to help others become more self-aware and to promote the gift of being mindful – which is really just saying, slow down and actual live more rather than rushing from one place to another all the time – is starting to backfire. Even though I as a Coach and Cognitive Hypnotherapist see huge benefits to being mindful for both myself and others, I’m totally sick of seeing the word mindful either on good books (see ref below) and very definitely on mugs, pyjamas, my teabags and anything a manufacturer wants to sell me. I find myself feeling like a rebelling teenager who knows her parents are right but she doesn’t want to listen. So the facts…

If you practice being mindful each day just for a few minutes, then after six weeks the difference in your brain can be seen on a scan as a physical change – for the positive I might add. I’ve had great feedback from coaching clients who I have ‘prescribed’ mindful practices. It can help you step out of any feelings you can’t control, pause, reflect and see what path you want to take rather than letting your emotional triggers take charge - these triggers we use cognitive hypnotherapy to clear first anyway. Anger, stress, anxiety all reduce with mindful practice and you feel, well, more you again. Who doesn’t want that?

I’ll continue to prescribe mindfulness where people need it, but it’s hard to get people to take it seriously when it’s on the back of workout Barbie’s’ t-shirt. Okay, I made that up, but you get my drift. I have found myself going back to the word meditation just to get away from it. My advice? Be mindful whether you are taking a slower breath in a meeting or getting out for an overdue walk in the sun, let distracting thoughts go and concentrate on just one thing, just for one moment. Let your body relax. For the few minutes or even seconds you allow yourself to do this, you will reap far greater rewards in productivity, whatever you are doing. Just remember, keep calm and you’ll carry on…

 For a great book on mindfulness (with a CD), try, Dr Danny Penman and Mark Williams. ‘Mindfulness – A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world.’

For some deep level change and to clear those triggering behaviours, lets have a chat about how coaching and cognitive hypnotherapy can help you.