Writing this on a miserable wintry Melbourne day, I’m reflecting on what we can do to lift our mood.
I often speak with clients about the day-to-day things they can do to improve the way they feel. Obviously, we are all different, and what works for one may not work for another.
As my business name suggests, I like to live mindfully. The problem is that it’s not easy to remember to be mindful, because we have minds that are used to managing various competing tasks, and a world that is fast-paced, full of deadlines and unrelenting demands.
What I suggest to clients who are distressed is to start focusing on something mundane and repetitive. Pay attention to the detail of whatever you are doing and try to focus exclusive attention on that task – whether it be wiping the bench, washing the car, walking or eating – and gently tell any interfering thoughts to go away and come back later. Be accepting and forgiving with yourself. It takes practice, but it’s worth persevering.
People generally say they feel better on a sunny day. But when it’s now sunny, try looking at the clouds. They can be beautiful in their own right. Their shapes, colours and changing formations used to fascinate me when I was a child. Try imaging things from the shapes – animals, geometric shapes, letters, whatever – it’s all there, with some imagination.
If it is a completely grey sky and raining, try observing the rain as it comes down and lands on the ground, or the window. Watch the way the water falls, and forms patterns, the way it affects the light and colours.
Become lost in a reverie of weather observation! It makes an otherwise miserable Melbourne day more interesting.