Ed's story: "Training the mind to be healthy"

Have you ever felt like you are not in charge of your own mind, that your thoughts are getting faster and faster, gaining momentum until there is no space for anything else?

Have you ever felt that tasks that are usually simple are too much and just living is a battle? That was how I felt when I was struggling to cope with depression. When I look back to those times I can see that
my life was manic. My mind was running at 150 miles an hour trying to find a solution to the stress and anxiety that was building up inside of me. I was attempting to think my way out of problems, and that constant thought stream just heightened the tension, worry and panic I was feeling.

My first experience of Mindfulness felt like a lightbulb moment. I realised that this was a different way of working with my thoughts, one that might give me the power to take charge of my mind I could decide how to respond to thoughts, feelings and situations, rather than being carried away by them. I remember being shocked when I could see the number of thoughts I was having and how they escalated my stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness is the one thing I can't rush. When I am practicing I have to slow my mind down and pay attention to the €˜'here and now' rather than the '€˜what if'.

We all know our bodies need exercise and training to be healthy, but how many of us know how to exercise our minds? Mindfulness, for me, is a way of training the mind to be healthy.