As part of the therapies I have been involved in, the counsellor wanted me to practise mindfulness/meditation to try and calm some of the galloping negative thoughts that get going through my head.
Now I am not good at sitting still doing "nothing" except focussing my thoughts. I think this is because my mother drummed in to me her mantra, "Don't waste time, work it to death" and so even when I'm watching TV I have to be doing something else as well. So between myself and the therapist, we came up with a few mindfulness techniques that I find I can do and I thought it might be helpful to share four of these with you over a few Moodscope blogs, this being the first.
First, as its name suggests, you need to find an object! This can be something in your home, from your garden or from the street, park or fields. It can be animal, vegetable or mineral. It can be something you can hold, or something much bigger.
Start by just looking at the object. Don't touch, just look. Look really closely and stand back and look. Walk round the object and see it from all sides. Look at the colours, shapes, look at the variations of shadow, think about why it looks that way? Is it man made or natural? What forces have acted on it to make it the way it is?
Then touch it. If it is small enough, pick it up. Feel the weight of it. Run your fingers over it. Is it warm or cold? Does it have a rough or smooth surface? can you feel tool marks?
Smell it. Does it have a smell? What does it smell like?
Think about it. Does it have a purpose? How did it become the shape it is, does it fulfil its purpose? If it's organic why is it the shape it is?
Try to totally immerse yourself in the object. If you find your mind starting to wander then draw your thoughts gently back to the object. You may want to set a timer for doing this task or just let yourself come to a natural ending. Up to you.
A Moodscope member.