The following piece appears in an article published in FranticWorld. I think it might go some way into illustrating how mindfulness can help some of us finding peace in a Frantic World.

Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation that was little known in the West until recently.

A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.

Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they tip you into a downward spiral. It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.

Over time, mindfulness brings about long-term changes in mood and levels of happiness and wellbeing. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability so that when they arise, they dissolve away again more easily. Other studies have shown that regular meditators see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster.

CRUSH Photography©

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 CRUSH Photography©
Acknowledgements: Extract taken from "A Frantic World"

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The unmistakable, black-and-white Tufted Duck lives up to its name – look out for the black tuft of feathers on its head. It can be seen all year-round, but often flocks together with other ducks in winter.

About

The UK’s most common diving duck, the Tufted Duck nests on flooded gravel pits, lakes and reservoirs, and gathers in large flocks in the winter, often mixed with Pochard and Coot. Tufted Ducks feed on waterweed, plant seeds and aquatic invertebrates.

‘Tufted Duck’

How to identify

The Tufted Duck is very distinctive: the female is entirely chocolate-brown, while the male is black with white flanks and a long tuft at the back of the head.

Distribution

Found throughout the country, on lakes, reservoirs and flooded gravel pits.

Did you know?

The scientific name of the Tufted Duck, fuligula, means ‘sooty throat’. Like most ducks, the ‘drake’ (male) has nothing to do with the incubation of the eggs or raising the young. The ‘hen’ (female) has eight to eleven eggs in a brood; the young becoming independent once their true feathers have fledged.

CRUSH Photography©

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 CRUSH Photography©
Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from the Wildlife Trusts

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