As a man who is practical and logical in nature, I used to find terms like ‘mindfulness’ a bit cringey. However, as I have read more into what mindfulness is, it is an idea that I have now built my own tools around to help control my emotions, stress levels and generally try to have a positive impact on those around me.
Mindfulness, to me at least, is the capacity to centralise my thoughts before expressing my emotions…taking a second to understand why I feel a certain way and if my response to a situation is going to make me feel better or worse in both the short and long term.
In its simplest terms it is ‘counting to ten’ or taking a deep breath. Taking time to be aware that our initial instincts might not be the best response to our long term outcomes. It might feel good to yell at the kids because they accidentally spilled something on the carpet, but does that change the outcome? And is that response going to make your life easier or harder? Ultimately does it really matter and if so why does it matter?… this takes five seconds to focus on before reacting in a way that quite often, with trivial things, you might often regret.
This is also true with bigger life stress. Taking a few moments each day to focus on our causes of stress, and how we can best react to optimise an outcome can help protect our own mental health and create a more positive impact in the world. I’m not a fan of meditation as such (although it can be a useful tool), I personally just take 10 minutes each day to work through my thoughts, why I have them and figure out which ones are appropriate to act on or not to create the best possible outcome for me, my family and my clients. I don’t worry about things I cannot control, instead I also focus on the positive things and what I am grateful for so I don’t take my health, family and friends for granted as we so often do.
I am a personal trainer based in Poole, Dorset working with and supporting small groups in all areas of fitness, health and lifestyle.