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Just a little addition as I haven’t blogged for a long while. Been having lots of success with phobias recently. A man who was trapped in a blanket box at the end of his bed whilst playing hide and seek as a young boy, has totally recovered from his fear of confined spaces, particularly lifts since working with me. He had let the lid go down completely and it wouldn’t open again. Even when shouting to his mum in anguish, she couldn’t hear because she was hoovering and he was imprisoned in the box for hours, believing he would die. Obviously this has led to an extreme fear of being trapped in closed in spaces. We used a fast rewind technique to reframe the original trigger and then he remembered how he’d played this game many times before with his brother and had always been able to get out due to placing his fingers just under the lid and not allowing it to close properly. This new realisation changed his perception a great deal. He was able to view the space as far larger when re-imagining the scenario and was able to allow himself to breathe deeply and easily by anchoring previous relaxation techniques. So much so he told me he was enjoying the feel of the soft fleecy blankets! Since then he has been up and down in lifts dozens of times at his conferences where previously he was only ever able to take the stairs! He’s also just got back from his holiday to Spain where he flew in a plane without the usual need for alcohol to allay the anxiety. Great results I’d say, really pleased for him.

Top 5 Mindfulness Tips

Mindfulness is an everyday practice which can help you cultivate the inner peace that personifies the season.

1. Eat consciously. 
Turn off the TV, put aside your phone or the newspaper and make your mealtime an event all its own. Take in the color and the smell of your food, feel its texture in your mouth and savor the flavors. Eating is an amazingly rich and complex symphony of sensations when you really pay attention.

2. Pause at the light and when you’re in line. 
Wait times are opportune times for mindfulness practice. If you’re stuck in holiday traffic or waiting in a department store checkout line, take a breath and bring awareness to the present. Notice your surroundings, and check in with how you feel. If impatience or some other emotion arises, just note it with curiosity and return to the breath.

3. Take a mindfulness moment when tensions rise. 
When emotions are triggered, our normal impulse is to take action – to fight, flee or freeze. Yet these are the times when mindfulness can serve us best. Rather than react impulsively, pause and take a full breath or two. Relax the body and soften the mind. It can help defuse the charge of a potentially challenging situation.

4. Really listen. 
Listening is a mindfulness practice that builds connection. When you’re in the company of another person, put aside your need-to-do list and thoughts of what you’ll say next and really listen. Your full attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another.

5. Be kind. 
Kindness feels good – for the person who extends it and the one on the receiving end. It also cultivates a happy, peaceful mind that’s less judgmental and more able to be present in the moment. And kindness isn’t just for other people; remember to extend it to yourself, too.

For more tips on mindfulness go to http://www.londonmindful.com/blog