Mindfulness at Langdale
Mindfulness at Langdale
/ 18th March 2020 /
We all know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the busyness and stresses of day to day life, but it’s increasingly important to remember to take the time to take a step back and unwind. Although this may be tricky in a world as hectic as ours, taking time out does wonders for our mental health and well-being.
As a frequently popular method, mindfulness has been adopted by many to enhance their mental positioning. When it comes to being mindful, it can be viewed as a mental state which is achieved by focusing on one’s awareness of the present moment. Through this, it also enables individuals to acknowledge and accept their feelings, thoughts and overall well-being. As a state of mind, we are all somewhat mindful, yet many have chosen to develop the quality.
Why practice mindfulness?
There’s a reason as to why so many people have been adopting mindfulness, it has been reported that those who incorporate it into their lifestyle have increased levels of happiness, patience, compassion, acceptance and a general sense of well-being. It has also been reported to lower levels of stress, frustration and sadness.
By becoming more aware of the present moment that you’re in, it helps you to simply enjoy the world around you, appreciating what you would usually take for granted. But the best thing about it is that anyone can do it! Mindfulness is a quality that everyone has, you just need to learn how to access it.
The main aim of mindfulness is to reconnect the body and mind with the sensations you experience. Yet, many of us are so busy wrapped up in our daily lives that we lose touch with our bodies and simply live in our heads, caught up in our thoughts, rarely in control of our emotions. Although meditation can help increase mindfulness qualities, opposite to popular belief, it is not a temporary state of mind that is present during meditation, it is in fact a way of living. So, we thought we’d give you a helping hand on how you can embrace mindfulness when staying at Langdale.
Mindful Moments at Langdale
Many of us are more likely to practice mindfulness indoors, however there has been research to say that there are considerable mental and physical benefits of practicing mindfulness in the outdoors, surrounded by nature. And where better to do so in the heart of the Word Heritage Site, the Lake District.
- Blea Tarn – 7/11 breathing technique
Surrounded by a skyline of pikes as you look over crystal clear water, re-energise and compose yourself in a truly calm and majestic location with the 7/11 breathing technique. In a place where distraction is minimal, the view certainly isn’t.
- Colwith Force – the 5,4,3,2,1 technique
Secluded in plush woodland, Colwith Force is home to a spectacular waterfall. A natural environment full of enrichment for the sense, Colwith Force provides an ideal location to re-centre. Try using the 5,4,3,2,1 technique, a self-hypnosis tool for deep relaxation, which can help you deal with stressful situations in day to day life.
- Chester’s by the River – a mindful walk
Take a relaxing stroll down the riverbank along the Elterwater path to Skelwith Bridge. Calming, tranquil and breathtaking, the scenery itself is enough to calm the mind. Walking at a natural pace, focusing on keep your breathing stable and taking in the surroundings. And, once you reach Chester’s, be sure to refuel with some of their delicious vegetarian food.
- Wainwrights’ Inn – a mindful drink
Cosy and traditional, Wainwrights’ Inn offers the perfect setting to unwind in a social environment. Enjoy time with friends, family and loved ones, and simply appreciate the company of others. Immerse in conversation, tuck into some wholehearted food or even enjoy a drink (but make sure to set yourself a limit, although a few drinks can make you relaxed, too many can have a negative impact on both your mood and well-being).
- Loughrigg Tarn – a revitalising wild swim
Not only a beautiful walk from the Estate providing stunning views, Loughrigg Tarn provides the perfect location to try some wild swimming. Refreshing and amazingly restorative, the cool waters of the environment allow your base senses to take over, freeing the mind from background worries and thoughts.
How to: 7/11 breathing technique
The 7/11 technique is a breathing exercise where you breathe in for a count of 7 seconds and out for a count of 11 seconds.
It is used to help relaxation and helps to gain/regain composure in a variety of situations. It has been known to help people real, de-stress and re-energise, and the best thing about it, it can be done anywhere throughout the day. In general, it helps any mental state, which in turn leads to heightened emotion.
- Find somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit and relax.
- When you first start to practice, it can help to sit in front of a mirror so that you can see your progress.
- Sit comfortably either on a cushion or a chair with your shoulders relaxed and your hands folded gently over your stomach.
- If possible, breathe in and out through your nose. Breathe in for a count of 7 seconds, and out for a count of 11 (if you find this too hard to breathe out for so long, start off with 3/6 seconds and work up to 7/11 seconds). The most important thing to remember is to breathe out longer than you breathe in.
- If you are doing it correctly, your shoulders will remain still, and your stomach will get bigger and smaller as you breathe (otherwise referred to as diaphragmatic or belly breathing).
- Once you can keep your shoulders still and relaxed with effort it is a good idea to close your eyes and try to picture the numbers in your mind to help you concentrate completely on your breathing.
How to: The 5,4,3,2,1 technique
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a self-hypnosis tool for deep relaxation. This technique can be used to relax in stressful situations, and to re-centre yourself. It can help with pain, trouble sleeping, anxiety and scary thoughts and nightmares.
Sight: Notice 5 things that you can see around you. Maybe it’s a tree, a lamp, an animal, a small child or a cup. Even something very small such as a speck of dirt on your shoe.
Touch: What are 4 things around you that you can touch? A pillow, your leg, a pencil, your phone. While listing these 4 things, take note of how they feel. It is soft, cold, warm, rough, smooth?
Hear: What are 3 things you can hear? Since our thoughts during this time are typically anxiety induced, make sure that these are external. Can you hear someone talking? Music? Cars driving past? A dog barking? A person laughing?
Smell: What are 2 things you can smell in this moment? Can you smell your perfume? A candle? Essential oil? Fast food? If you can’t smell anything in the room that you are in, try finding something that you can smell such as a bottle of lotion or a cup of coffee.
Taste: What is 1 thing you can taste? Maybe this is a drink that you have beside you, coffee, a sweet or mint? Focus on this taste and which part of your tongue you are using to taste.