On Sunday I went along to a Mindfulness event hosted by Paddy Brosnan. Paddy is mindfulness teacher and inspirational speaker. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend and I thought I might learn something.
Thankfully I didn’t have a panic attack like I did in the previous mindfulness class I attended (not run by Paddy). It was a fairly long day – 6 hours with an hour for lunch so there was an awful lot to take in. What I found amazing was that Paddy was telling us the mind has about 60000 thoughts a day and 95% of those are the same as every other day. He said 65% of these faults are when we are in ‘default mode’ so not really concentrating on what we are thinking.
Most of these thoughts are negative, they come out of nowhere like a car coming behind, these thoughts change the way you feel and how you interact with others. Paddy said the way to change these thoughts is very simple, he said there’s no need to run naked through the street singing kumbaya with a badger (thankfully!) The solution is meditation – you have to retrain your mind. Thoughts generate feelings which generate actions so we have to stop the negative ones before they take over….sounds simple in theory.
I found the day very interesting, we were guided through some meditation techniques. We were also told about mindfulness, paying more attention to people when they are speaking to us. We were advised to eat our lunch for 15 minutes before talking to someone else so that we really concentrate on what we are eating and enjoy it.
What I found quite unsettling was when Paddy said nothing is permanent which is grand when you are in a bad place but he was saying your partner won’t stay with you forever because one or the other of you will either leave or die…..not great to hear when you have depression. Anyway apart from that the rest of the day was good and I liked the advice that if you want to change you are the only one who can do that. Thank you to Paddy’s team for the ticket and thank you to the lady called Mags who sat with me at lunch, it was lovely chatting to her (after the 15 minutes mindful eating 😉 )
I find meditating difficult, I’m not great at keeping still but I have an app on my phone called Headspace which is just a trial at the moment but I’m really finding it helpful. The animations are great and I’m trying to meditate once a day with it.
I’m feeling a lot calmer than I was and haven’t had a panic attack in a couple of weeks – phew! I went to CBT yesterday and although I tried this in February I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to take anything in so now I’m going to try again and hope it helps. I’ve discovered I have a bad relationship with food so that needs to be sorted out. Between Lucy being home and cooking me healthy dinners – and making me eat and Siobhan who is a fantastic nutritional therapist I’m eating better than I have been.
I’ll let you know how things go.