Mindful Monday (January 9th)
Welcome to the first of our Mindful Monday posts – something we like to practice at Torque. We asked Torque director and Mindfulness teacher, Belle Moss to share some of her thoughts over the coming month.
“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life – some of which actually happened.” Mark Twain
What exactly is Mindfulness?
I like to think of it as a toolkit – it introduces the idea of being able to step back from your thoughts and view them in a more detached way. Learning how to choose to respond to thoughts, feelings or situations not just react to them.
A great way to describe mindfulness training is to think of it in the form of a novel.
If you’re experiencing something in the first person, you’re involved in and affected by everything in the story – you are the I, reacting to events and emotions.
Whereas if you shift the focus to the third person, you’re observing events and the emotional responses they create, you can think of them in a more removed way, which allows you to pause and consider your response, thereby responding to events rather than reacting to them.
Why is Mindfulness so useful?
Mindfulness is also the practice of learning how to live in and focus on the experiences of the present moment.
It’s so easy to fall into patterns of picking apart past events or conversations that didn’t go the way we wanted them to, particularly where we felt we were dealt with unfairly or that caused us pain.
On the other hand, we can also find ourselves constantly looking ahead, worrying about events or situations that haven’t yet happened (or in some cases may never happen) things like the presentation coming up at work, despite the fact you’ve already prepared for it, or constantly running through your mental to do list, worrying that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Both of these approaches can have really negative impacts on our mental health, looking back can lead to feelings of sadness or depression while spending too much time looking forward and worrying about future events can lead to anxiousness.