This is the first of a series of blog entries where you can follow along with the progress of a regular BBC Radio Manchester guest Val who is taking part in a brief introduction to mindfulness course over the coming weeks. Below is a summary of the first session, which was discussed on Friday 25th July during Becky Want's show. Listen to part 1 of the interview below:
In session one we explored the concept of 'automatic pilot'. It's amazing how much of the time we can be drifting through the day, daydreaming or thinking about the past or the future, without much awareness of what we are doing in the moment. Through intentionally bringing more awareness to the present moment we can begin to engage at a deeper level with our experience. This can result in increased enjoyment of positive experiences, such as really tasting a delicious meal (rather than eating it whilst texting, watching TV and having a conversation simultaneously) as well as helping us to see how we might habitually react in many situations. This in turn allows us to take more control over our lives, choosing how to respond rather than react. To hear how Val got on, listen to part 2 of the interview below:
If you would like to have a go yourself, see if you can bring a greater level of awareness and curiosity to a daily activity that you might usually do on automatic pilot. For example, brushing your teeth, having a shower, walking in to work. Really tune in to all of your senses and if your mind wanders onto other things, when you notice, gently bring your awareness back to the activity.
You are also invited to experience a short formal mindfulness practice, mindfulness of the breath. See if you can engage with the practice (either 10 or 20 minutes) every day between now and next week.
If you would like to let them know what you think of mindfulness, you can visit BBC Radio Manchester's Facebook page and leave a comment (scroll down to find the post from around 2pm on Friday 25th July 2014).