Mindfulness and Art - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

Mindfulness and Art

Mindfulness and Art

Mindfulness and Art
Sinead Mc Dermott Campbell
Written by Sinead Mc Dermott Campbell on Monday, 23 July 2018 Posted in: Your Mental Health

Whilst engaging in my art practise and using my hands, my mind becomes engaged and l relax and unwind. During this time l enter into a place what l can only describe as the “art zone ” where l become lost in my own little world. This trance like state is similar to a mindful meditation which boosts mental health and  provides the individual with a deeper sense of well being.

Mindfulness and Art

I am a certified Mindfulness practitioner having completed the Mindfulness Based Street Relief Course (MBSR). Scientific research has shown that mindfulness meditation boosts divergent thinking and assists creativity in numerous ways. Mediation focuses the mind, calms and reduces stress and assists one to enter a truly tranquil state. This relaxed state of mind gives insight to inner thoughts and enhances the creative mindset to flow naturally so clarity and awareness are increased.

Mindfulness like drawing and painting helps us to increase our attention span. Creative processes such as mediation and art help us to balance our minds to both heal and destress. Art is a way for us to express ourselves through the visual arts. Sometimes it is to difficult to express pain, frustration, sadness verbally but through engaging in Art and being in a mediation state of mind we can express what we feel without words. Sharing our artworks in galleries and exhibitions allows the individual to see that they are not alone. I would encourage everyone to mediate and be creative everyday even just for 10 minutes. By practising and engaging in Art and mediation we receive clarity and are able then to communicate emotions and restore a sense of control which helps our overall well being.

Take 10 Minutes each day to create a space to meditate.

Close your eyes, place your left hand on your stomach area and your right hand over your heart region. Feel your breath move through your body and your stomach rise and fall slowly.  Calm your mind and be grateful for all that you have in your life!

Every time your mind goes off focus (which is only natural at the start when you begin your practise)  gently guide it back and focus on your breathe. Do not be annoyed with yourself as our minds tend to jump like a drunken monkey from one thought to another.  Instead speak kindly to yourself as if you were communicating with a young child and focus on your breathe again. This is the Art of mindfulness which is to be fully present, of the present moment you are experiencing.  

The emotional and mental benefits of mediating are unbelievable. Ten minutes of meditation each day will help you in many different situations.  My good friend Sinéad Willox has written the following benefits of practising mindfulness daily which l have listed below.

Benefits of Mindfulness
  1. INCREASES RESILIENCE in hard times
  2. Increases LIFE SATISFACTION
  3. Increases HAPPINESS and OPTIMISM
  4. REDUCES IMPULSIVITY, cravings, and addictions
  5. REDUCES STRESS and ANXIETY
  6. Produces a deep state of PEACE and WELLBEING
  7. HELPS CREATE LOVING, HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP

l totally agree with Sinead’s list of benefits. Mindfulness practise daily has helped myself and family members in many different situations. One example, which parents of P6 and P7 children might appreciate, is that l practised mindfulness with my daughter regularly whilst she was preparing for her transfer tests.  She achieved an A in her GL exam as the morning of her paper she remained calm and focused despite her suffering from a chest infection the morning of her first paper.

So please go ahead and try to practise a little mindfulness everyday with your family and friends as it will help you create a more positive and peaceful environment. Also add a splash of art in their somewhere and your kids will reap the benefits of both these practises.

Namaste

Tagged with: advice forum for mums, baby health, family life, mental health for parents, mums mental health, Perinatal Mental Health, summer art activities

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