In recent years, mindfulness has emerged as a very popular practice to help fight stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that mindfulness can be effective in helping patients come to terms with chronic illness and, alongside traditional treatment options, allow patients to live productive lives.
But… what is mindfulness?
Taken from the NHS website:
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.
“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
“Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.
“It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”
How do I be mindful?
The NHS Solent Trust have produced this series of videos talking about many different ways to be a more mindful person:
Meditation and Mindfulness
Along with trying to be more mindful in daily life, meditation can be a good way to practise mindfulness in a more formal way. Paying close attention to your breathing can help you take control of breathlessness and manage anxieties, which can be very helpful for those living with lung conditions. This graphic has lots of information about the different types of meditation, and how meditation and mindfulness can play a role in improving physical and mental health.
Tai chi and yoga can also be great ways to practise mindfulness and focus on breathing control. The playlist below has many exercise videos chosen specifically for people with aspergillosis – there are some tai chi and yoga videos that you can follow.