19
Sep / 2016

Busy hands


Drawing, painting, knitting, gardening, building, carving, sculpting, cleaning, ironing, fixing. All of these activities involve your hands. Some of the items on the list may be more enjoyable than others. Some may be more enjoyable for some people and other activities more appealing to other people. All of the above activities are opportunities to really engage with your world. 

There is a lot of talk about “Mindfulness” in the media and the literature there days. I am a huge believer in Mindfulness and its benefits to mental health. Mindfulness is not a new concept. Mindfulness is not complicated. All Mindfulness requires is focused attention on what you are doing. Certainly it is easy for your mind to drift off when you are doing dishes; but if you choose, it can be a mindful activity. Allow yourself to pay attention to the water, the soap, the dishes, how your hands feel, how the cloth feels in your hands, how you feel standing over the sink. It may not be glamorous but it is an opportunity to check in and focus on the current moment. I find gardening is an activity I can get lost in. I concentrate on the plants, the soil, the sun on my back and the rest of my worries drift away. 

Choose an activity you can get lost in. It doesn’t have to take up a long time in your day. It could be sitting having a cup of tea and really enjoying it, watching the world go by around you, feeling the warmth of the cup in your hands. Choosing an activity that involves your hands gives you some part of you to focus on. You can focus on doing something rather than trying to clear your mind of all thoughts. You will still find that your mind will drift from whatever you are doing. Gently bring it back to the task without judgment. Just noticing. That is Mindfulness. What activity will you choose to bring Mindfulness into your day?