Lots of people suffer from anxiety and depression. But if you’re homeless you’re 10 times more like to be affected with mental health problems. It’s incredibly stressful being homeless and daily life is unsettled.
Every Friday from 1pm we have a mindfulness session which encourages people to be kind and compassionate with themselves. The workshop guides the group through a meditation making people aware of their surroundings, the noises or sounds in the room and how their body feels.
It encourages people to just ‘be’ by getting to know their bodies better including what thoughts, emotions and impulses arise as the session unfolds. Counterintuitive as it may sound, the aim isn’t to try and relax but instead take the pressure off oneself and listen to what your body is saying. The effect of this can be calming. After the meditation people have the chance to share how it felt and if there were difficult, uncomfortable or positive thoughts and emotions which came up.
There are also shorter meditations like mindful eating where each person really thinks about what they will choose to eat, how it looks, smells & finally tastes. Slowing down this process helps us be more mindful an in tune with ourselves.
Getting to know ourselves better is important for relaxation as you can discover what are your triggers which can make dealing with difficult situations easier, but it takes practice as Claire who attends the group describes:
“It is excruciatingly difficult because my mind is so busy. It feels like a battle at first but it helps to calm the mind down. It’s a reboot.”