May is mental health awareness month, so I feel it only apt to blog about why mental health is at the centre of our wellbeing, especially in current times.  And to share how we can start to make positive change.

In the UK 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year, and 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health condition such as, Anxiety or depression in any given week.

During COVID 19 every 40 seconds someone has died by suicide. These stats are shocking, and having suffered and if truly honest, still suffering from severe anxiety and depression myself, I feel that more needs to be done in supporting Women and men in feeling safe to speak out about their condition.

When we can openly talk without fear of judgement, we can then start to do the work on the inner mind needed to gain insight on the root course of our mental health issues.  I have come to realise through my own healing journey that if we start to place our attention on the core roots of our mind, we are then able to start to free ourselves from ultimate suffering.

With the work I have been doing recently on my own mental health journey, I have come to learn that our thoughts, images, sensations, and feelings are born from a space of consciousness, and that becoming an explorer of your own self with true acceptance, is the key to liberation.

Mindfulness and meditation have been huge in my own personal healing journey, and can support and improve emotional and physical wellbeing, and in recent years psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as a key component in treating several mental health conditions, such as depression, substance abuse, eating disorders and anxiety disorders.

There is certainly more than one way you can practice mindfulness, the goal here to any mindfulness technique is to deliberately pay attention to your thoughts and sensations with out Judgement. This allows the mind to focus on the present moment.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to calm myself and support my mental health, they have become a regular part of my self-care routine However on the niggles of an attack this first technique is my absolute go to.

Mindful meditation – sitting quietly and focusing on my breath and just allowing my thoughts to come and go freely without judgement is my go-to as stated above. Through using this technique and really bringing my focus to my breath, I have learned I am in control.  It did take a while for me to fully sit with this practice, and to learn to just be and slow right down, and not to judge my thoughts and feelings, but it was so worth the time and energy I put in.

Outdoors – This year’s theme for mental health awareness month is all about getting outdoors and into nature, again this is another of the techniques I use, there is something about being outside that just lifts my mood.  To ensure I am being mindful as I explore mother nature, I tend to slow down and really take in my environment, concentrating on sounds, smells, shapes, tastes, and touch using all 5 senses to really drop into my experience, being fully present without any judgement.  What ways can you fully embrace the outdoors to support your mental health journey.

Felt sense – Lastly, I use felt sense to help me really drop into my body, especially on those days when I really am unsure as to why I am feeling the way I do.  I sit or lie down quietly and just notice each part of my body, scanning slowly for any sensations, such as Warmth, coldness, tingling, icky feelings, numbness, itchiness, and so forth and without judging I ask myself why I am feeling this sensation right here. Working through any sensations one by one, again being fully present in my experience, and bringing myself back to a part of my body that is love and acceptance itself and just sitting there for a moment basking in all the love that is there.

The key with all is acceptance itself, accepting whatever is in your awareness in any given moment, the good the bad and the god damn ugly.  Because ALL these elements live within all of us. And when we can learn to accept who we are fully, to love and forgive ourselves unconditionally we can start to make positive change and create ourselves a brighter happier and more fulfilling future.

How will you Start your mindfulness journey today?