Mindfulness for your mental wellbeing
Read a transcript of this video:
Caring for someone who has lost their independence can put incredible stress on you and lead to emotional exhaustion. The majority of carers in the UK say that they suffer from poor mental or physical health.
The symptoms of stress can be alleviated, both in the short and long term, with mindfulness techniques.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying purposeful attention to the present moment and acknowledging thoughts and feelings without judgement.
Practising mindfulness can help you stop worrying about what has happened in the past or what could happen in the future and instead focus on the here and now.
The NHS suggests that mindfulness can improve mental wellbeing, helping you to develop positive and proactive ways of responding to stress, breaking negative thought cycles, improving relationships, reducing conflict and developing self-compassion.
There is no right or wrong way to practise, but we can get better at it over time.
Breathing techniques, such as ‘Ha breathing’ can be a great way to practise mindfulness. As you slow down your breathing, your heart rate slows too, making it easier to stay calm.
To try Ha breathing simply breathe in slowly for a count of two and out for a count of four, vocalising ‘ha’ as you breathe out. Carry on for as long as you feel you want to. If you get dizzy or giddy, just stop and breathe normally again.
By practising Ha breathing or similar techniques, you’ll get better at quickly calming yourself down and have a tool to challenge stress whenever and wherever you need it.
There are many more mindfulness techniques you can try. Find out more in our Virtual Carers Centre.