“It’s not whether you have problems, it’s how you deal with them that counts.”
– Todd Ward
Let’s face it, no one has a perfect life and we all go through many ups and downs throughout our whole life and we don’t always set mindfulness as the priority it shoud be. We all have our own struggles from time to time, and in our fast paced lifestyles, situations with high pressure and tensions happen frequently. Hectic schedules, piles of work, difficult colleagues, lack of mindfulness, and the list goes on and on. Wouldn’t this make you pull your hair out, quit everything, and break down? The real questions are, is there any going back? Will I be able to create a bubble of calmness in my very chaotic life? Is it possible to deal with all of these unfortunate events when my emotions are off the chart?
Good news, yes! all of the above is possible. Many of us take mindfulness for granted although it is one of the major practices that one should stick to in an overwhelming city like Hong Kong. Mindfulness will help you clear your mind and connect with your emotions and thus have a clearer vision and a calmer life, says Eléna Foucher, founder of Mindfulness Made Easy.
Mindfulness for beginners is actually way simpler than you think, all you have to do is feel your feet, pause for two seconds and notice the physical sensations of your feet pressing into the ground.
How does it work? When we are stressed, we go into a neurological state that is called : “fight or flight.” Our brains read stress as danger and our sympathetic nervous system takes over to get us to safety as soon as possible. Our brains prioritize speed over complexity so that we can fully focus on simple decisions like “Fight!” “Run!” or “Freeze!” This is great in a fire, but not so helpful when we need our higher brain functions like complex logic, reason or creativity, to work their best.
When you stop for a second and feel your feet, it sends a signal to your brain that indicates you are not in extreme danger, that there’s no fire. By directing your attention to something that is clearly not dangerous you’re letting your brain know that you’re safe. Basically, you’re telling your brain that the stress you are going through is not life threatening.
As you convince your brain that you are safe, your nervous system will stop pumping adrenaline and cortisol into your body, you’ll calm down and relax. Clarity will return as your brain stops prioritizing speed over complexity and you will regain access to your higher faculties. As you practice mindfulness and specifically this over time, you will get better and better at it, and the result will be faster and more efficient with time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you change this old habit of stress into a new habit of calm with the help of mindfulness, remind yourself that with patience it will be an easy and efficient way to be calm and relaxed in the middle of chaos.
Mindfulness can also be reached through wellness treatments such as massages. Be it Swedish, Thai or Hot Stone, those massages will help you shut off the brain-chatter from the daily stress. To that end, you can trust our partners‘ therapists to accompany you on your mindfulness journey with their unique skills.