Saturday, 25 June 2011

May I Have Three Minutes of Your Time?

When talking about simple pleasures the other day,  the BBC's Radio 4 deservedly got a look in.  Its programming is such a rich source of information and entertainment that it's almost a constant companion as I wend my way around the Devon lanes - except when I'm in the mood for a bit of a bop and I'm listening to the likes of Leonard Cohen.  By the way, if you're up  for a bit of belly laughing, catch the latest episode of 'Sarah Millican's Support Group'. But be quick, it's only available for another three days. (Sorry if you read this post at a future date and miss out!)

Amongst this week's other memorable moments was All in the Mind's 'Stress Special' on which I was provided with a timely reminder of a mindfulness technique that I learnt yonks back but had been forgetting to use on a regular basis.  It's a way of stepping out of automatic pilot and bringing attention back to the present moment, particularly useful when feeling overwhelmed.   Click the link to go to the programme's website  (look like this one's available long term) and hear Mark Williams describe how to implement   The Three Minute Breathing Space   in a succinct and  eloquent way.  But... if you haven't the time of inclination to do this here's how this quick stress buster works.

First...bring your attention to what you are experiencing at this moment in time.  Thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations are all put under the microscope.  Acknowledge your experience even if it is unwanted and unpleasant.
Next....Direct your attention to your breathing without trying to alter it.  Some people find that they can do this by focusing on the air coming in and out of their nostrils whilst others prefer to focus on the sensations in their tummy or chest.
Finally...Expand your field of awareness to include your whole body.

For those sorry souls who really feel that they don't even have time to do this, and at times I count myself amongst you, try it on the loo!

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