Sarah Cremen – Personal Training Sarah Cremen – Personal Training

Mindfulness Vs McMindfulness

Mindfulness Vs McMindfulness

A  guest post from clinical psychologist  Dr. Susan Delaney (who also happens to be my mother!).

You can learn more about living mindfully by following her on Facebook.

Practice Mindfulness and you will immediately become slimmer, more attractive and fitter!!

Well, no, you won’t, Mindfulness, or McMindfulness as it has been sarcastically dubbed, is not a panacea; it can’t cure all ills, but there is good evidence to suggest that regular mindfulness practice can alleviate pain, depression and anxiety, and truly peace of mind beats a pert bum any day.

So What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening just at this moment, without judgement. To do this we need to pause and actually notice what is going on. Apparently we have more than 50,000 thoughts a day but most of them have little to do with the present.

Many of us spend time going back over things that have already happened; the “shoulda, woulda, coulda “ variety of thoughts. Other people who are prone to anxiety find much of their thinking time taken up with worries about the future. But the present is the only moment we can do anything about.

Cast your mind back over your day so far. What kind of thoughts have pre-occupied you? We all get caught up in the on-going soap opera that plays constantly in our head, that’s part of being human, but those thoughts can be very persuasive and seductive, and pull us out of the present moment.

“ I can relax when X happens”, “I would be happy if I found a new house/job/partner, “ I’m a total failure"...

But remember; thoughts are not truths! They are simply mental events flitting through our consciousness, we can choose to go where they take us or not.

A Simple Exercise

Here is a simple exercise to try.

  • Pick A Reminder

    Choose something that happens several times in your day – making tea, stopped at traffic lights, hearing a mobile phone ring etc.

  • Pause & Become Aware Of Your Breath

    Just for one week, every time the reminder event happens, pause, become aware of your breath without changing it in any way, ( this anchors us and brings us into our bodies) take a few minutes to notice what is going on. No need to try and “clear your mind”, it’s not possible anyway. But rather notice and observe the thoughts as they come and let them drift away as if they were clouds in the sky.

  • Disengage You From Your Thoughts

    Allow a little gap to emerge between you and your thoughts, keep breathing, still yourself, and then make a conscious decision how to spend the next moment. Don’t expect miracles, but just be open to what happens.

The truth is, if you slept in a bed and had a good meal today, you already have all you need to be happy – there is nothing out there that you need, even though there may be lots of things you want.

Especially as the Christmas season is upon us, taking a few minutes every day to unhook yourself from the big sell, the stress and the difficult feelings that can arise as the year ends, can soothe you and reenergise you.

Mind the gap and live the moment. It really is all in our heads!

About Susan Delaney

I’m a Clinical Psychologist and Mindfulness teacher with a particular interest in self-compassion.

Daily life tends to be frantic and busy:, it’s not going to change, but we can change. We can learn to respond rather than react to our daily stressors. We can learn to be kinder to ourselves. .. Suffering is part of life, it’s inevitable, but suffering is eased in a landscape of compassion. That includes self-compassion:

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend then don’t say it to yourself” 🙂

Watch a recent TEDx talk I gave in UCD. If you want to know more about mindfulness or being kind to ourselves, please get in touch.

Share Article:

Leave a Reply