Confession time. Since a young age, I have taken an active and ongoing interest in fitness; from the latest fandangled crazes to the tried and tested methods employed for decades. This said, when Collingwood embarked on a Mindfulness program around three years ago, I was skeptical.
Like many, my days are never the same, with a myriad of tasks fighting for my attention. And then, of course, you throw in the inevitable strain lockdown has placed on us all. Keeping in the present moment has never been so important (well, certainly during my lifetime).
Since this phase of lockdown began in January I have taken it upon myself to up the ante in terms of meditation and I have definitely seen a benefit. Don't get me wrong, this hasn't allowed me to "use the force" or levitate. However, given the pressures placed on us all during this period, I have noticed a marked improvement in my decision making, clarity of thought and ability to not overthink / stay in the moment.
Meditation isn't going to suit everyone and I would air a word of caution: I didn't dive straight into the practice. Yes, I have subscribed to the app Calm, but only having gained a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This was achieved through our Mindfulness coach, but you can gain the fundamentals from Google, or various audio books.
And for those who will suggest that they simply don't have time - neither do I! I practice for 10 minutes three to four times a week, simply by setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier on those days. You don't have to dedicate the time a monk would into making a positive difference to your life. Please, give it a go for a month.
Practice meditation. Similar to self-compassion, mindfulness — the practice of being fully present and focusing your attention on thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations without judgment — is also an antidote to the rumination that can keep you up at night. By being fully present in the moment, you are not rehashing past events or worrying about future events. There is ample research on the positive effects of meditation on anxiety and stress. Further, researchers in the Netherlands found that even small amounts of mindful meditation (10 minutes before and after work for two work weeks) helped calm racing minds, improve sleep quality, and sleep duration.