WHY MEDITATION-WHY SELF-KINDNESS

The demands on us, the expectations are enormous. How much of our time contains happiness? We just want to be ourselves and when we can’t, we fall into depression. When we don’t have a nourished inner peace, when we are not centred or balanced, we suffer. Yet, there is no switch that we can flick for anxiety or panic to stop. So full of data, with a racing mind, rest is not rejuvenating; we feel just as tired as when we went to sleep. Our minds are like a balloon, air filling with information, stretched to its limit. Release is necessary or it will burst, often this comes as anger. This is the reason why we need meditation, the practice that our ancestors have partaken in for thousands of years.

Our lives are filled with worries and stressors, many of which simply aren’t worth it. A kindness schedule helps you to structure your week, as much as possible, around being kind to yourself. In your kindness schedule, you make a written plan of days and times for what you need or love, swimming, yoga, tennis, writing, painting, playing a musical instrument, meditating, are all examples of inclusions. You give these precious times to you, they are for you, they help to nourish you. It’s important to not compromise on being kind to yourself. An investment in yourself, is a great investment.

be kind to yourself

FIRST STEPS OF HELP

It can be difficult to reach out when you are suffering with your mental health.

It can appear easier to struggle on because it is scary to make that first step of letting someone know how you are feeling. You feel weak for having the issue. A mental illness is as valid as a physical illness in every way.

Going to see an expert about a twisted ankle or earache would not give this feeling. Your illness does not define you and it does not reflect on you as weak, weird or wrong. It is something to overcome, as with a physical problem, through expert advice, treatment and therapy. The first key to feeling better is to accept what is happening to you, not be afraid of it and not attach a stigma to it.

online counselling and therapy, mental health counsellor
Paul Devenny is a trained CBT therapist and counsellor

The first contact with a mental health professional still appears daunting. You may have a lot of questions about what it will be like. The reality is that a qualified counsellor or psychologist is trained in how to interact with you with complete empathy and without judgement, therefore you will find that the response you get is one of care, understanding, kindness and a willingness to help you through it.

There are options of face-to-face counselling or on-line counselling which is still very effective and can remove the stress of travelling, finding enough time to fit in a session or actually walking through your problems face to face. Whichever process you opt for, this experience is fundamental in allowing you to talk through your pain, suffering and experiences and free yourself.

PAY ATTENTION

Pay attention to the details in the elements around you. It will help you to live in the moment and reduce your levels of anxiety and stress. So much of the time, we don’t see even what is right before us. Walking down the street, there is a house, the house is made of stone, it has a wooden, navy blue door, the windows have white panes, the curtains are floral downstairs, upstairs there are sky blue blinds. Look now, an old man is passing, he has round spectacles with a gold rim and a fluffy, white moustache, his long coat is grey and soft.

LET NOT LIFE PASS YOU BY

MINDFUL JOY

Buddha spoke that each morning we are born again and what we do today is what matters most. However, mainly, we live but we are not present in our lives. Mindfulness is moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, experiences and environments. The practice of mindfulness helps us to nourish and re-enforce our inner ability to restore well-being.

We can use this state to access the energy that helps us to recognise the happiness already present in our lives. Assess who you are, without judgement, observe your feelings, thoughts and reactions without criticism. Recall a dispersed mind to a wholeness and live fully in every moment.

MEDITATION

Turn to meditation

Light a candle, an incense stick, turn out the lights

In the beginning

You may feel restless

Remember that meditation has the power

To transform your life

Give yourself time to understand

Your inner mind

Try to meditate

At the same time

Every day

So, it becomes a routine

Start with 10 minutes

Undisturbed

No distractions

When your mind wanders

Bring your attention back

To meditating

Be comfortable

Bring your attention to your breathing

Focus your breath

Experience the air

Flowing through your nose

Out through your mouth

Inhale 1,2,3,4,5

Hold

Exhale 1,2,3,4,5

Close your eyes

Bring yourself away from distractions

Imagine yourself

In a serene environment

Listen to the gentle sounds

In your mind

Feel the beauty of this place

If your mind wanders

Bring it back to this place

Open your eyes

Focus your attention on your candle

Focus on the shape and the colours

When thoughts come

Observe them

Without engaging

When you have finished

Lay down

Close your eyes

For 5 minutes

Before you open them

Choose a smooth, enclosed path

Through a park or a forest

Away from people and noise

Inhale

Hold

Exhale

Anchor your mind to your walking

Observe how your feet

Rise and fall

Walk for at least 15 minutes

Enjoy the mindfulness

Meditation

Lowers blood pressure

Cholesterol

Relaxes nerve signals

Responsible for tension

In blood vessels

Reduces pain

Strengthens

The immune system

Makes you

More resistant

To disease

Calms you

Helps you sleep better

Helps manage the pain of a chronic condition

Meditation

Gives you

Increased concentration

Focus

Attention

Reduces cortisol

A stress hormone

Cytokines

An inflammation causing chemical

Eases anxiety

Promotes creativity

Imagination

Helps stave off Alzheimer’s

Improves learning ability and memory

Helps the production

Of serotonin

A mood enhancing chemical

It boosts feelings

Of well-being

Reduces depression

Promotes peace of mind

Mental clarity

Emotional well-being

Helps you to respond

Rather than react

Increases compassion and empathy

Increases self – awareness

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PAIN AND SUFFERING

In the journey of life, pain may be inevitable but suffering is more of a choice. Meditate, inhale, say to your mind the words PEACE, LIGHT, PURITY. As you exhale, say to your mind the words worry, stress, pain. Feel all the negativity and impurity leave you. Rejuvinate your life force, your qi, your prana.

meditation technique to get help with mental health
Counselling can help to guide you through meditation.

THE CHOICE

In every moment of your life, you have a choice. In every
aspect of your life, you have a choice. Create the life that is
right for you, that gives you the greatest sense of peace
possible. Not the most money, not the most stuff, not the
most power. Choose peace as much as you can, choose love
as much as you can, choose balance and calm as much as
you can. Grudges, complaints, arguments, stress, fatigue
are all the results of choices YOU have made for your life. It
is futile to gripe about them. You have put yourself where
you are. If you have made bad choices, correct them WITH
IMMEDIATE EFFECT. If people are giving you stress and
confrontation either cross them off your list if you can or
don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of their pain.
PROTECT YOUR INNER PEACE.

Your mind sees your soul as an
unknown language in which your heart
is fluent

THE BODY

Focus on breathing.
Focus on the texture of clothing against the skin, the
temperature of the body and the environment.
Which parts of the body are tingling, sore, heavy or light?
Notice your body language.
Exercise and do yoga.
Have a schedule for this, you will see that in time it becomes
ritualistic and an essential part of your life which you come
to look forward to.
Every aspect of your daily living affects the overall health of
your body and your soul. Invest in yourself, invest in your
inner peace. Nurture it, protect it, respect it. Don’t let
anything or anyone disturb it or take it from you.
Spend every waking hour on love.

THE MOUTH

Smile

It slows the heart

Relaxes the body

Releases endorphins which diminish stress hormones

Before you speak, PAUSE, analyse what you are going to say. Is it positive? Is it kind?

How many times have you said something and instantly regretted it or later wished you’d never said it?

What you say travels outwards in waves, it’s an important part of how you are remembered and thought of, let it be the truth about you.

The past is dead and the future does not exist

THE SMILE