Mindfulness in Practice – Part 1

So a couple of posts ago I said I was going to start looking a bit deeper into mindfulness.  It’s something I’ve only really dabbled in previously but I have found that it seems to work, so wanted to see what else I could find out.  I haven’t made huge progress so far – having a one year old doesn’t give you much spare time – however I did read something today which I managed to use quite successfully, so I thought I would, as promised, ‘pay it forward’ so to speak.

I am currently reading: Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world at the start of this book there is a section about how your posture, movement, facial expressions etc can affect your mood and the moods of others.  So for example if you smile – even if you don’t feel like smiling – you will feel happier, other people will see you and smile back.  The same goes for more depressed postures, if you are slouched with your head hanging low you are more likely to feel low and pass this on to others around you.  Obviously the book goes into it in much more detail but you get the general gist.

So today I drove to a roadshow – I think that’s the right term?  Basically an event where, lots of businesses come together to sell you things.  For me something like this is filled with anxieties: driving somewhere I’ve never been before, actually finding the place, parking, talking to lost of strangers, crowds (man I hate crowds), I could go on and on and to add to all the pressures, I had my one year old with me as well, nothing like putting yourself out there.

So I’ve been making big strides forward with my recovery and I know to get over a lot of mental issues you have to face them head on – that’s what I keep preaching on here right?  So when I tried to think of a reason not to go today, there really wasn’t an easily justifiable one.

Anyway I digress.

To be honest it mostly went well, I got lost once on the way but found it eventually and even found a double parking space, yippee!  When my little boy started to run around the presentation and wanted to get up on stage, I coped and everyone seemed to find it funny rather than irritating but eventually it all got a bit much for him and he really started to play up.  I can’t really blame him, it’s not the most exciting place for a one year old.

The challenge however really came when I got back to the car, he’d definitely had enough by this point and flatly refused to get back into his car seat.  I could feel the stress which I’d managed to keep in check up until this point starting to rise, could feel myself getting hotter, how was I going to get him back in his seat, everyone’s watching, argh!

Then I remembered what I had read in the mindfulness book, if I’m getting stressed my little boy will feel stressed, if I’m getting angry, my little boy will just get angrier too and so, I laughed, I looked up at the sky, took a long deep breath and started to laugh and do you know what happened?

My little boy started laughing too, all of the anger and tears of frustration which he had been displaying just seconds earlier just disappeared – well for long enough for me to get him strapped in anyway.  I’m not gonna lie I did have to sing nursery rhymes all the way home.

I know in that moment I was so happy I had read that chapter this morning.

Well that turned into a bit of an essay so I hope it all made sense.  Mindfulness really is incredible and by just being aware of how you are projecting yourself you can completely change a situation for the better, what a powerful tool to have.

Stay Strong xxx

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