Is the busy commute, rush to get the kids off to school, plans of trips away starting to feel like something in the past already? 
I talked to my clients a lot about stress and often the stress that they were unaware they were experiencing. I talked to them about the fact that in modern day society there appears to be no time to stop and rest. We are expected to communicate 24 hours a day, we are contactable 24 hours a day, we rush around trying to be all things, feeling under pressure to be busy at all times if we are to succeed in this expectation of ” living your best life “. Social media tells us we must be this and we must be that, this chips away at our confidence and our well being and we compare ourselves to what we perceive as the perfect life. It’s a really destructive and unhealthy place for our minds and bodies to be. Self care is out the window and stress becomes a normal state of mind. 
Well, we have been well and truly stopped in our tracks now haven’t we ? 
You can’t take part in the busy commute, you can’t rush around any longer. A trip to the supermarket or the pharmacy is potentially a whole days activity, so if you wanted to rush in for a loaf of bread and something for tea on your way home from work after a busy day when you didn’t get time for lunch where once home you will still spend the evening attending to emails and worrying about the next days presentation, then you are going to be disappointed…..but are you? 
I read something today, it said, before we all rush to get back to our busy lives lets think about which part of our lives we want to rush back to. 
I am not in any way saying that we should all give up our jobs and live off the land in “The Good life “ style, for the rest of our lives, but I do believe we should take at least one positive from this experience and learn to slow down. 
This is a bit controversial from me at a hypnotherapist, but I really dislike the word mindfulness. Not the intent of course, but the word is something that has started to irritate me. The reason being, that mindfulness is now portrayed as a new entity, something cool that we should all be doing (more pressure to do something else… I don’t like that either ), to the point where there are actual mindfulness teachers ! This is not a criticism of mindfulness or mindfulness teachers, this is a criticism of our society today, where there has become a need for us to be told about this and taught it, where in fact Mindfulness is an age old practice that we all did before we embarked upon the busy, stress filled, social media filled society that we have now, probably without even knowing we were doing it. 
'Mindfullness: the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.' 
Cambridge Dictionary 
For those of you who follow my facebook page, you will have seen the discussion around elevenses. A break at around 11am at which time you stop work, have a drink and some sort of small snack and you perhaps have a discussion with a friend or family member or you sit alone. By stopping in this way you are naturally being mindful. You are not looking at your phone, you are probably doing a natural bit of reflection, a thought about the food you are eating, enjoying the drink, the taste the smell, enjoying the conversation or the silence. In other words, practicing mindfulness and mindfulness is as easy as this, however stopping for a break in this way had become something we simply did not have time for did we? 
The frustrating thing for me as a therapist and I am sure for mindfulness teachers also, is that by taking these mindful breaks in our day we are actually improving our minds ability to work effectively, in turn making us more focused, productive, happier and all the other things that support us to in fact “live our best life”! 
I did a little bit of research into the practice of elevenses and its actually an entity that many other countries have a version of. Australia its called Morning Tea and they celebrate this at work ! Good work Australia. Chile, Spain, Hungary and the Netherlands are just a few that also consider taking a break with a little something as an acceptable thing to do. 
I agree, taking a break at least once throughout our day to focus on what is in front of us, what we have what we are doing and experiencing in that very moment and how this makes us feel, is something we should consider as acceptable and even necessary. 
What do you think? 
Questions, or comments? I'm here to help. You can leave a comment or query below, or contact us if you want a confidential conversation. 
Tagged as: Self Care
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