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Alive and present

Mental health awareness week ran from the 9 - 15th May and the theme for this year is loneliness.  Here are a few startling statistics:

  • A survey by Action for Children found that 43% of 17 – 25 year olds who used their service had experienced problems with loneliness.
  • Action for Children have also reported 24% of parents surveyed said they were always or often lonely
  • Research by Sense has shown that up to 50% of disabled people will be lonely on any given day. 
  • Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.

We also know that for many people lock down has made their loneliness and resulting mental health issues much worse.   For example, Beat (UK's eating  disorder charity) saw an 81% rise in enquiries to their services in the early months of lockdown.  

Our mind's 'doing' mode is the mode of efficiency - the mode in which we get things done in the material world. When we are not busy 'doing' often the thoughts of loneliness can be overwhelming and we seek out more things to keep us busy as a distraction.  We know that this way of doing has its negative aspects - it can be overwhelming and exhausting.  So what is the alternative? The state of being can give us nourishment and calm within our busy lives of seemingly endless doing.

So what does being look like?

Living in the moment - Being here now and not engaging with any thought of past or future that happens to come into your mind.  Simply observe it, without engaging with it, without judging it, without doing anything at all with it. 

Non-judgement - Not measuring what happens or has happened against what should be happening or should have happened.  'Should' thinking has no place here.

Acceptance - Not engaging in a critical or disappointed dialogue with yourself, and being compassionate with yourself whenever you unintentionally think of any kind of error you've made.

Non-engagement - Not getting absorbed into an emotion or unwanted thought that happens to cross your mind, remaining distant from an emotion's underlying story. 

Like anything, these techniques take practice.  Developing new habits always do.  Maybe focus on what of these ideas at a time.  I can promise you that to live in the present more often will help to make you more grounded, balanced and happier.

To your success...

Lindsey and all at Team NLP

 

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