As part of our focus on getting you healthy, our KBPT trainers want to help you look after your mental health too. One way you can do this is through mindfulness, which is about paying more attention to the present moment and how you feel.
As Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says, "It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.”
With everything that’s going on in the world right now, mindful journalling might be one way to acknowledge your feelings and gain back some control. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. What are you grateful for today?
Perhaps a friend got in touch or you had a nice chat with your neighbour. Maybe you watched the sun rise, discovered some new music or ate a delicious meal. Getting those moments out of your head and on to paper can give you a new perspective on what’s important and what you are thankful for.
2. How does your body feel?
Consider your body from head to toe and record how it feels. Do you have any aches or other concerns? Are you hungry or thirsty? Do you feel warm or cold? Finding a moment to do this helps you to connect with your physical health and take steps to improve it.
3. What is a favourite memory?
Write down what you saw, what you could smell, other people’s voices – try to draw on all your senses. How did you feel at that time? Why can you remember it so vividly? Journalling about memories has been shown to have benefits for your health, from reducing pain to helping you sleep better.
Try to use a pen and paper to write down your thoughts rather than doing it on your laptop or phone. Writing by hand forces you to slow down and think more deeply about your words. It also distances you from ‘work’ mode. You might also like to set aside a certain time each day for your mindful journalling – just before bedtime is always a good time to reflect on what you are grateful for. Time to get writing...