Mindfulness or Mind Full?

This is something that sounds very simple and initially, you may think even pointless, but something that I believe is particularly important to us as stroke survivors. Following a stroke, many of us spend a great deal of time alone, this can be due to lack of confidence, disability and/or fatigue issues, or all of these things, it is human nature to focus on things we struggle with, things we can no longer do, the things we miss.

We may not be aware how often we focus on these negative things, how often during the day the brain flitters from one thing to another then another, a little like a butterfly visiting many flowers, and we continue doing so regularly. You may well think so what?! I don’t blame you, but in reality, as we do this we raise our stress levels and it eventually leads to depression, we know already that many stroke survivors struggle with depression so we need to look at ways to reduce this where at all possible.

If we focus on things that make us happy we lower our cortisol level which is the stress hormone within the body.

You may be thinking this is all well and good but with all the difficulties we have, how do I propose we do this?

I believe one suggestion is to do it in baby steps or small chunks of effort regularly, regularity being our secret to improvement. Just a few small changes, even just one of them, but make whichever we decide a daily habit.

Instead of focusing on the things we can no longer do, look at the things we can do, we are alive, we can possibly watch the birds outside, smell the food cooking and flowers in a garden, do things we couldn’t manage a few weeks ago. Any of these things or better ones you come up with but you get the picture. As you focus on things that you like, watch and feel how your emotions may change. Try to list three things each day that you enjoy or can now do, notice how you begin to look for and notice more positive things around you and that you personally have achieved.

You can also try to do some meditation on a daily basis, there is proven benefit that to do as little as one minutes meditation simply clears the mind of everything that fills it with stresses. If you find meditating difficult don’t worry you are in the majority rather than the minority. You can download or listen to something on YouTube. Sit comfortably and listen to some relaxing music, or a guided meditation taking you through each part of the body, mentally relaxing each part individually. It may sound as though you are not really doing anything of note, but your body will feel the benefits and also meditation has the ability to lower your blood pressure. You could simply focus on a cushion or an item in a room for one minute, each time you notice outside thoughts coming in, acknowledge them then release them, and continue your focus and relaxation. You could do this focusing on the flicker of a flame whilst candle burns in the room, enjoying the fragrance at the same time, decide what is best for you. remember one minute is sufficient, don’t make it a chore.

If we try to make a daily routine of meditation and think of three positive things, doing this for a month I do believe we can only benefit

2 Responses to “Mindfulness or Mind Full?

  • I love this blog. I always focus on what I CAN do. Dont suppose I could share this as a guest blog could I. have you ever tired Lumen5 which also changes your blog into a video. I would love to do this and share it on my page – if I get permission from you I will give you the credit. let me know. Have a suoer day. Shelagh x

    • Hi, Shelagh,

      Many thanks for your lovely comment and I’m glad you like it, I hope you also like the one I have just posted?

      Yes, it would be a pleasure for my blog to be shared as a guest post on your page. I love the idea of it becoming a video but I haven’t heard of Lemen5 before so excited to see and learn more. Thank you again and have a good week.
      Kind regards,
      Sas

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