The world can be challenging and unbearable at times but through it all, there is a world of ‘happy’ to focus on and all it takes is just a few minutes a day to find. The team at Celebrity Ink™ try to practice this when we are not researching or creating art at our studios, and it’s especially important right now in this pandemic, so we thought we’d share our tips with you.
We all understand chaos only too well, especially right now, but what is mindfulness and how can we maintain it?
Have you felt like you are on autopilot for most of your life? You know those moments where you can’t recall what you were just doing for the last 30 minutes or how you ate that whole family block of chocolate without feeling like you touched a single square? Well, mindfulness is the exact opposite. The dictionary describes it as “the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something”. Mindfulness is the mental state maintained by the use of a technique whereby you focus your attention only on the present moment. You experience the thoughts, feelings and sensations of the moment but without judgement and become conscious and deliberate of your attention and intentions. Our artists practice this every day when tattooing our clients!
Our mind can wander out of habit but we need to pull it away from replaying the past and projecting into the future, and bring it back to right now. A good way to practice being present is to focus on an object. It helps us let go of projecting forward or into the past and the wants, desires or frustrations that come with that. The purpose of mindfulness is not to suppress anything but rather pay attention to the thoughts as they arrive without labelling them in any way. Imagine you are the watcher of the things going on in your mind.
Meditation is mindfulness. Commonly practiced sitting with your eyes closed but you can also do it lying down or even when you’re walking if you can focus and not get distracted. It sometimes involves a mantra or a chant, however what’s most important to know is that mindfulness can be practiced any time. You don’t need a fancy meditation cushion or music on to practice mindfulness. Anything you do in your life can be turned into a mindful moment as long as you put your full attention to the moment. Doing the dishes, washing the car and having a beer are all moments of the day you can be mindful of.
Mindfulness can reduce anxiety, stress and other negative emotions and is known to physically shrink the brain's “fight or flight” mode which is the area of the brain associated with fear and emotion.
Mindfulness can reduce depression and is clinically known to be effective without the side effects of medication. It also reduces insomnia and creates a sense of well-being; sharpens your memory; increases your ability to focus; is effective for the management of pain; and is known to improve your health in general and your immunity.
It’s the free therapy you’ve probably needed in 2020!