Yesterday, I flew on a plane for the first time in a while. The first time in fact since starting this blog. And there was something about being up in the clouds that made me stop and reflect.
I started this blog nearly 8 months ago in an effort to encourage myself to try and be more mindful in my day to day life. Research shows that telling others about your goals can help you to keep them and so Making it Mindful was born.
In my efforts to be more mindful, I read as much as I can about mindfulness, meditation and positive thinking. I practice gratitude everyday and meditate when I can.
These are all small changes that I’ve made and although I know that my thinking is changing in general (I spend less time worrying, and feel a genuine sense of joy about all the things I have to be grateful for) going on a plane yesterday really put things in perspective and gave me an example of how trying to “make it mindful” was starting to genuinely change my life.
To put it in perspective, typically, when I travelled on a plane, I would worry about the idea of getting on the plane for months, literally from as soon as the ticket was booked. At the airport I would feel sick, have heart palpitations, sweat and shake. At times I have cried on planes and I once told Ollie (when queuing to board) that I was sorry, but I didn’t think I could actually get on the plane to go on holiday. I did get on the plane in the end, but I hated every second of it.
What I realised yesterday whilst sitting on the plane was that my thought process had genuinely changed. I still had the odd thoughts of “What happens if we crash?” for example, but different to last time I flew, I felt able to stand back and observe these thoughts.
Crucially, I realised not every rhetorical anxious question that pops up in my head needed an answer. Not every thought requires a reaction.
I realised that’s exactly what had been happening when I had previously flown, my body was having a physical stress reaction to my anxious thoughts. The difference in my physical and mental state yesterday came from being able to identify any anxious thoughts as just fear trying to keep me safe and nothing more. Choosing to keep my thoughts in the moment, where thankfully everything on the flight was going well, stopped me from having that physical stress reaction.
Yesterday, I had my best ever flying experience. I would go as far to say I enjoyed it. This reason alone has made me appreciate just how useful mindfulness and meditation has been for me personally, and how small efforts to make it mindful have made a huge difference.
I’d love to hear your experiences of trying to make it mindful? Or maybe you have questions about how to start making it mindful? Please get in touch, I love hearing from you.