Mindfulness and Springtime

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Carer News

A guest article by Angela Hesterbanks.

Angela is an accredited Mindfulness & Meditation teacher. After her mindfulness workshops for carers in January and February, she joins us to talk about ways in which we can access mindfulness in the spring.

A photo of Angela Hesterbanks Springtime, my favourite time of the year – new life flourishing, the natural world coming alive after winter, bringing hope and wonder. We patiently await new  buds opening, bulbs flowering, leaves growing on trees and the re-emergence of all animal life. It’s uplifting to notice days are gradually lengthening – gifting us more nourishing daylight. And the weather’s growing warmer, enabling us to spend more time outside.

Nature supports our wellbeing with its stress relieving powers and healing effects. Being immersed in nature directs our focus away from our often-over-stimulated minds and into the
body. Our brains are wired in a particular way whereby we can’t be distracted by our thoughts and absorbed in a sensory experience at the same time.

Mindfulness is all about awareness – noticing with curiosity what’s happening for us in our present experience and accepting it just as it is. Being awake to the present moment through engaging our senses can provide grounding, peacefulness, and relaxation, which we could all benefit from each day.

We already have the ability to be mindfully aware, sometimes we just need to dust off how to access it. So, here’s a mindfulness tool for connecting to our senses. It’s an effective technique when in nature but can be applied to any setting: indoors or outdoors. Adapt the activity to explore with the senses that are most available to you. Remember to pause and breathe.

The 5 to 1 grounding technique of using your senses:

Observe 5 things that you can see around you: focus your eyes on what you can see. Really take them in – the various shapes, textures, tones, details, colours and reflections of light. Remember to look up at the boundless, changing sky.

Notice 4 sounds you can hear: tune into each sound, let each sound come to you: birdsong, pets, wildlife, children’s play and laughter. The wind whistling through trees, sea waves, rivers, the hum of bees. Music, traffic, people.

Focus on 3 things you can feel: fresh air on your skin, clothing, material, surfaces. Your hands, the temperature and texture of them. Air flowing in and out of the nose and mouth. Textures beneath the soles of the feet. Their connection with the ground. Or feel the contact of pressure between your body and the chair, floor, bed, or grass. Stroking pets, grass, stones, shells etc.

Notice 2 things you can smell: flowers, blossom, herbs, pine, earth, wood, food, drinks, fragrances etc. Breathe it in. Tune into 1 thing you can taste: food, drink, toothpaste, sea salt in the air. Notice if the tastes are sweet, salty, bitter, or sour.

Tune into 1 thing you can taste: food, drink, toothpaste, sea salt in the air. Notice if the tastes are sweet, salty, bitter, or sour.

I wish you joy exploring nature through your senses.

If you would like to find out more about the work Angela does, you can visit www.facebook.com/healingbreathsussex or email healingbreath@outlook.com.

Free Mindfulness Sessions with Angela in Uckfield and Hastings

If you would like to come along to one of Angela’s upcoming free Mindfulness Sessions for Carers, please note the following dates:

To find out more or book onto one of our mindfulness activities for carers in East Sussex, contact Care for the Carers at info@cftc.org.uk or call 01323 738390.

 

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