Mindfulness – a practical exploration to help you cope with quarantine
We’re living through one of the most challenging times of our lives. In stress simulations to test the highest level of stress a human can endure; social isolation produced the highest level of cortisol for any stress test conducted. No matter that we’re deepening our relationships with those we are quarantined with, no matter that you may be living in a mansion or a shack, social isolation affects all of us at some point. One of the techniques that is proving to be the most effective in dealing with this challenge, is mindfulness. No wonder that mindfulness is one of the most “Googled” words of our time. Many are searching for a better way to understand ourselves, look for deeper meanings in our lives and help us cope more effectively on a day-to-day basis. Mindfulness is conscious awareness of self – heart, mind, body and spirit. It means being present, in this moment and conscious (without judgement) of yourself.
Mindfulness means having hope and compassion. This can cause positive changes in our brains and produce hormones that enable us to renew our minds, bodies and hearts. When we have hope we look forward to the future and believe that our future is attainable. It raises our spirit and energy. Compassion means being in tune with ourselves and the people around us. We understand their wants and needs and feel that we want to act to help. Compassion is different to sympathy or empathy as it includes a deep understanding, concern and a willingness to act out of concern for the benefit of ourselves and others.
One of the most important things is to focus on compassion for ourselves. This is a direct conflict of how we were raised, where we put the interests of others ahead of ourselves. This is a good way to de-value yourself and remember we can’t give what we don’t have. Compassion starts with self – When you are able to appreciate yourself, value yourself, be your own best friend, it is easy to show compassion, love to others.
Let’s start with a meditation to open our mindfulness and increase compassion. Sit comfortably. Soften your shoulders and allow your eyelids to close slowly and listen to our Mindfulness Meditation here.
By Gail Cameron