I would love to be able to write how joyous I am that Christmas is around the corner but I'd be lying. I feel like I'm falling down the rabbit hole. I had this depression exactly at this time of year last year (after a gap of seven years). I think my mind is recalling what happened a year ago which triggered me into a mental whirlwind of despair...
With more and more research showing that mental health is worsening in our schools and that this problem poses serious long-term costs of as much as £105billion a year, then now is the time to be innovative, look at what's working and act. It's time to start piloting mindfulness in our schools, and measure its success.
You have to admit, if you go to the gym regularly to exercise you can change your body, likewise, if you eat healthily and watch your diet you feel better and can control your weight. But how do you nurture your mind to make it happy? To keep all the negative thoughts away in order to make your life balanced, peaceful and joyful?
Figures indicate nearly a third of antidepressants are prescribed for non-depressive or off-label uses, such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Even so, studies suggest that antidepressants are ineffective in nearly 30-50% of depressed patients, suggesting a lack of specificity in targeting the underlying biological mechanisms of depression.
It has taken me six years and a hell of a lot of dedication but, I am slowly becoming the person I once was. In fact, I'm becoming more than I once was. A new, improved version of myself that's not only able to appreciate the experiences I've had, but also use them to inspire new beginnings and be mindful of how fragile our existence really is.
People often say that the reason they don't practice mindfulness is that they don't have the time. This is understandable; our modern lives are indeed busy. But just as brushing our teeth is important to keep our teeth clean and just as exercising a couple of times a week keeps our bodies in form, a daily mindfulness practice is important for taking care of our mental well-being.
The definition of acceptance is to realise the reality of a situation and be at peace with it. When you break it down like this you can see it's not an over night flick of a switch. For example living with pain requires a level of kindness to oneself and an ability to be with things as they are to move on and carry on in life.
The body is often ignored due to the fact that we live so often in our minds. So, the course will introduce body-scan meditation, which develops an awareness of each part of the body. It's not so much a relaxation technique but an exercise that brings curiosity to the entire body. Feeling things just as they are, without trying to change them.
I wish this were my life, being fed by beautiful men, in the presence of great minds discussing new and better ways to live and hopefully change the world. I had these type of discussions when I was 18 when I was hopeful and then never again but here's the spark and hopefully some day all this might come to fruition and I can say I was there.