What do you have for your breakfast, to nourish and prepare your body for the day ahead? Porridge? Full English? Continental? Egg and soldiers? Most of us start the day by ‘fuelling’ the body with some kind of breakfast, although of course the nutritional value may vary depending on our choices! But how many of us start the day with a nourishing breakfast for the mind? Of course, a healthy, well-chosen breakfast can have a positive impact on brain function, but what I’m talking about here is something different. A ‘breakfast’ that directly addresses the wellbeing of our minds.
Stress is something that all of us will probably experience at some point in our lives. Often the stress is short lived and disappears when the cause of the stress disappears. However, sometimes we may experience stress on a longer term basis, either because the cause of our stress is still around or because our baseline stress has become ‘stuck’ at a raised level for a reason we can’t quite fathom.
Nourishing our minds for the day ahead can be a very helpful way of managing stress, and an excellent way to take care of our minds is with a regular mindfulness practice. With practise, mindfulness can help us to deal with our daily challenges from a new, calmer perspective and can assist in reducing our baseline stress levels, helping us to build resilience for the longer term.
Research suggests that a short mindfulness practice of just 10 minutes per day, such as a ‘mindfulness of the breath’ meditation, can have positive effects on our overall wellbeing and levels of stress. If formal meditation isn’t for you, then you may like to incorporate mindfulness into a morning yoga or Pilates practice, or perhaps take a short walk in nature where you can take the time to observe your surroundings and simply ‘be’. Alternatively, practices such as painting or drawing have wellbeing benefits themselves, and provide a fabulous opportunity to practise mindfulness while enjoying a morning of creativity.
If you’d like to practise mindfulness but you’re not sure where to start, Mind for Wellbeing offers a 5 week, online, 1:1 programme of mindfulness for those looking to incorporate mindfulness into their day to day lives. Alternatively, if you’re just looking for a bit of a taster, you may like to try one of our short workshops. Or if you’d prefer to read more about mindfulness first, one of the most popular books about mindfulness is called Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, which also includes a CD of guided mindfulness practices.
© Michelle Drapeau, 2019
Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash