Running is The Dogs when it comes to Mindfulness, IMHO
In my day job, I’ve been writing a lot about Mindfulness lately.
Now that we’re all preparing for a second, six-month lockdown – panic-booking Ocado slots, stockpiling the Cushelle before it goes back on the ration – it’s understandable that we’re also after some mental reinforcement to see us sanely through the dark days ahead.
So, having exhausted my usual array of mental sandbags on the first surge, I’ve gone back to Mindfulness after a break of almost three years.
I’ve dusted down the old Guided Meditation CD, sat in the same chair with my eyes closed and assumed the familiar pose, supposedly embodying a sense of strength and curiosity.
I spent 20 minutes noticing my breathing and the noises around me, trying to sit quietly with any troubling thoughts that popped into my head.
And it was all right. In fact, it was much the same as it was when I last gave it up: at least I was doing something to combat stress and getting a bit of restful ‘me’ time’.
But one of the thoughts that did occur to me was: “This isn’t as good as running.”
Far too many mornings, I wake up feeling anxious and have to stage an in-depth mood intervention before I can face the day.
I KNOW I’m going to have a bad day if I wake up feeling Fizzy.
‘Fizzy’ is my catch-all term for the anxious, sometimes mildly suicidal, feelings that I often begin the day with, but that can crop up at any time, given the right/wrong stimuli.
Feeling Fizzy usually announces itself as a combination of a very slightly raised heart rate and marginally faster breathing – leading to a low-level, fidgety type of trembling within me and a nasty premonition that something is going to go wrong.
It can also present itself as unpleasantly intense brain activity very soon after waking – usually as an argument between two parts of my brain, over something quite irrelevant to my life.
But whatever the subject, one brain part generally flings an accusation that is unfair or unpleasant at me even before I am properly awake, and that sense of danger and defensiveness sets the tone for the day ahead.