Life has been a bit crazy of late.
Sometimes it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to achieve all the things I feel that I need to achieve. I know that this is a feeling echoed by many of my family and friends. I only have to log on to Facebook to see people’s daily lives rushing from here to there. It would seem our lives are jam packed with a range of "must do’s", so that it can sometimes feel as though we run everywhere, as though on a wheel rumbling on and on, never stopping.
Exhausting isn’t it?
When we cram so much into our lives we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by how much we feel we have to do and yet, still we feel that we should be doing more. This is how it has been for me for as long as I can remember. Always feeling as though I should be doing more, sometimes I have even found myself feeling guilty if I take time for myself, to relax or to take a pause. Almost as though I am disobeying some kind of cosmic rule! I don’t think society helps. There are so many organisations where It is the ‘norm’ for employees who work 9-5, to start work in the early hours only to return home late in the day, still processing emails or requests even once they have returned to the comfort of their own home. It is so engrained into our lives, that breaking out of this regime can often seem like ‘letting the side down’. The impact on employee wellbeing when we are constantly on the run shows up in health records and costs organisations billions every year. Yet, I can’t help wondering how those statistics might look if society encouraged people to get off that wheel a little more often.
I wonder if we sometimes even remember what it feels like to stop.
Lately, I have really begun to understand the significance of pressing the pause button on my ever revolving wheel. I have been trying to be kinder to myself, allowing myself a guilt free moment to have tea with a friend, to read a good book or just to sit and be still; to be ‘mindful’ and you know what? I really can see the difference. Don’t get me wrong, stillness does not come naturally to me – it takes patience and determination. However, I have noticed that the more I can allow myself to be still and the more I can allow the thoughts to come and go, the more I begin to really notice the way I am feeling and in that moment, I feel contentment. If I can pause, long enough to breathe and feel, it is almost as if I can pause my rat race and in doing so I have noticed that I don’t seem to feel as stressed as I used to and I find solutions to my problems. In the stillness, my mind seems less cluttered and I can see more clearly.
So I am going to try to continue to make use of this still time, because I like being mindful and I know I feel healthier too.
Rachel Durrant is a BACP registered integrative counsellor working in private practice with adults, adolescents and children in Surrey. She has a BSc Integrative Counselling and a PG Certificate in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Well being. More information about Rachel can be found at her website here
or on Twitter here
More information on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness can be found online at: Be Mindful