So there I was contemplating a raisin…

We were sitting in a circle with our eyes closed, trying to clear our minds of the daily maelstrom of thoughts and tasks. In our hands we each held a small dried fruit, and we were being asked to focus on it, touch it, smell it, listen to it (!) and finally taste it. The only problem was that I couldn’t switch off and I couldn’t stop making lists in my head…

Mindfulness based relaxation is a lot trickier than you might think!

As GPs we like to take time out to review what we offer to our students and we recently had the opportunity to try mindfulness (a type of relaxation technique) for ourselves. It is recommended for stress and anxiety and it is also offered by the Student Counselling Service, so it’s no bad thing for us to try it out. It was revealing to find that I was absolutely hopeless at relaxing and switching off! There’s a real skill to be learnt and I can see how this would be a fantastic life long technique for dealing with future stress and challenging times.

So if you find yourself lying awake at night because of worries, if you’re anxious on a pretty regular basis, or panicky when in certain situations, this could be for you.

The raisin is just the beginning, but peace of mind and the ability to take back control over your emotions lie ahead if you are able to invest some time and patience in learning something new, just for you.

If you need to talk to someone about anxiety then please contact us at the Students’ Health Service on 0117 3302720, or you could contact the Student Counselling Service.

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