The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Practicing Mindfulness

Will it ever stop raining? This morning someone texted “it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, blah, blah, blah”. Based on my calculations I think that means a few more days of this. I hope not. A few months ago it was quite foggy. I remember telling some people that they could rest assured it would rain in 100 days from that foggy day. Quite frankly I had forgotten about that till a colleague reminded me about it. She had counted out the days and marked it on the calendar. The date happened to be June 28. I chuckled when I saw her earlier this week. She gave me “that” look. You see, June 28 was this last Saturday. Did it rain? Don’t answer that. That was a rhetorical question. It absolutely poured. Perhaps that lends some credence to what are commonly known as old wives tales.

I know in my selfish mind all I worry about is the fact that I can’t golf when the weather is this nasty. I suspect that there are many who would be happy if that was their only issue. The reports I have heard on rainfall amounts, the pictures I have seen of the damage done, is mind boggling. Not something seen in this part of the world on a normal basis.

First we had a record breaking winter. Cold, windy and lots of snow. It did not want to end. Then when it finally released its grip we end up with a summer that is anything but summer. Add to that all the rain we have had and you have a significant period of time where people simply have not had any reprieve from miserable weather. That has the potential to alter moods. Make people less friendly. Grumpy. Angry even.

Perhaps it is time to utilize some mindfulness techniques. I took a workshop last week that focused on mindfulness and the positive effect it can have on people who practice it. I even learned some new techniques. I know it can work. We all know that negative events, negative thoughts, resentment of past experiences, or worries of the future can have significant impacts on our mental health. The weather over the last number of months adds to that.

Studies have shown that at the very core of our well-being, physical and mental, we have the ability to regulate the body. This regulation assists in dealing with the over whelming stress we often feel and through that maintain a sense of balance. There are many benefits of mindfulness. It provides a self-awareness. It boosts the immune system and increases physical healing. It decreases time spent in rumination. It provides for a more positive emotional state. It improves relationships. It lessens anxiety and depression. It increases empathy. It decreases chronic pain. The list goes on. (Information taken from the training manual Mindfulness Counselling Strategies from the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute)

When you see that list I am betting you see something in there that you wish for. Regardless of our level of pain, stress or anxiety, most of us, at some point in time, wish for relief. Wish for an improved life. A balance. Try mindfulness. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results. Through experience I know it works. The workshop provided further tools and applications that I can use in my life. Now if you find yourself passing by my place and you see me doing some weird physical exercise don’t laugh. Stop in and I will show you how this can be beneficial for your life. Trust me. It works. Make it a good one.

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