TOBY MIZZI, COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST, STRONG MINDS PSYCHOLOGY
For this blog, I thought it might be nice to get back into a specific practice that you could try at home. In the past couple of blogs, I have discussed the use of apps and also revisited the general importance of being mindful. For this edition, I remembered an exercise that I was taught some years ago which I found useful as means of practicing mindfulness meditation.
Time: 10 minutes
Body: sitting, lotus position
Technique: you will need a candle for this exercise as you will be lighting the candle and spending your time bringing you entire awareness to the experiencing of watching the flame. You can use any candle, whether it is a larger scented candle or a small tea light candle. What matters is that you have a small flame to watch. As you sit, bring your awareness to the flame and try and notice as much as you can. You may notice as the flame flickers and moves around. You may notice the different colours of the flame, even if some of these are quite subtle. Like many of these exercises, you will notice that your awareness will be interrupted by various thoughts. As always, simply acknowledge the thoughts and let them go before bringing your awareness back to the flame.
I find this is a nice exercise as an alternative to focusing on breathing. You will be surprised how much you can notice about a simple flame by bringing your entire awareness to it. When you are finished, it is recommended that you reflect on the exercise too. Did you notice anything that you haven’t noticed before? Was is difficult to set and just look at the flame for 10 minutes? Did you find that your mind was desperately trying to distract you and bring your awareness away from the flame?
As this exercise involves a flame, please make sure you do this in a safe environment!
About the Author:
Toby shares his time between the Strong Minds Psychology team, Swinburne University, and his young family. He is passionate about providing individualised support, and empowering people to enhance their mental health. Toby provides counselling and therapy for children, adolescents, adults and couples – helping with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, grief & loss, and family conflict. Mindful Mondays will be a regular blog on our website and Facebook page.
If you would like to discuss how the Strong Minds Psychology team can support your mental health needs call us on 0417 389 941 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org