So this morning I have been taking my time, observing the toothpaste on my toothbrush, feeling the sensation of mint hitting my mouth and the bristles on my teeth. No I’ve not turned all ‘bohemian’ but I have been reading. It is always dangerous to read.
My latest bedtime buddy is ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ by Ruby Wax. Those in the know about mental health will recognise Ruby as a key ambassador for the cause, studying extensively about the brain at Oxford, and entertaining us with some amazing TED talks but also sharing her journey publicly in the media as a mental health sufferer herself. Determined to break the mental health cycle, and full of amusing anecdotes of her own experiences, Ruby describes what she believes neurobiologists would call, a state of ‘frazzle’ that we enter when constant stress overloads the nervous system, and floods it with cortisol and adrenalin. Too much of this cocktail we are told causes depression and anxiety states to ensue.
Ruby explains in an amusing way how our minds are fixed on worrying rather than the job at hand. This is caused apparently by our minds failing to adapt with evolution and thus causing a state of anxiety when pushed too far in the new VUCA world.
Before however I depress you further, her book includes a 6 week mindfulness guide of how you can stay in a state of the present and hopefully avoid these mind-traps. So if you see me counting the cracks on the pavement note that I am trying to change a habit of a lifetime!
On a serious front, a great and informative read and well worth the time given 1 in 4 of us suffer from time to time.
Article by Michelle Harte – Head of HR, West Midlands Employers