Mindfulness is about finding your inner calm & peace

'We are so busy planning for the future & dwelling in the past that we sometimes forget to live in the present'

What does the term ‘mindfulness’ mean?

Mindfulness can be defined as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.

In simple terms, mindfulness is about finding your inner calm and peace. Taking your attention away from everything that is happening in the world around you.

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      How can we include being mindful within our lives?

       

      Mindfulness is a simple concept and easy to learn.

      It is simply living in the moment and experiencing fully being present.

      There are many ways to take a daily time out.

      Some people find meditation is the ideal way to relax every day.

      And others prefer being active.

      Many people enjoy spending time with nature & wildlife to find peace & quiet.

       

      Finding active ways to switch off & relax

      Taking a little time out each day to be ‘mindful’ is crucial to our wellbeing.

      Taking a countryside walk to connect with nature is a wonderful way to stop for a while and just breathe. Bird & wildlife watching is a popular peaceful way to discover & observe nature. 

      Gardening is also recognised as perfect for a daily time out connecting people to nature & the seasons. Plants that encourage wildlife, butterflies & birds to visit your garden are very easy to grow & a lovely display can be achieved in any size of garden, including plant pots or a window box. 

      If you have a bird feeding station or butterfly friendly plants in your garden you can easily combine both these hobbys to make time every day to see who visits your home.  

      Owning pets is also well known to have positive effects on health. From daily routines & companionship, to dog walks and the added benefit of exercise, all perfect ways to focus on the now.

      But not everyone is able to own pets, or have easy access to gardening or nature. 

       

       

       

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          Meditation for busy minds

          Many people find switching off with meditation doesn't work for them, they simply can not stop thinking (I am one of them). 

          Instead, doing something creative or crafty can provide the perfect mindful activity for them. The process of concentrating on creating artwork or using yarn to knit items is a form of meditation for busy minds.

          However not everyone can knit or draw and some crafts take years to learn and for some, the stress of learning new skills can have a negative effect. 

          So which craft would suit someone too impatient to meditate or spend lots of effort learning a new hobby?

          Which craft is simple for everyone to learn & is relaxing & mindful?

          The craft I always prescribe for relaxing and practicing mindfulness is the art of cross stitch. 

          It is simple to learn. It is portable so you can stitch anywhere. You can pick it up & put it down when you have a few minutes spare. It is the perfect way to unwind, focusing on the needle, following the pattern, taking time to focus on the task, releasing your brain to sub-consciously work through the stresses and strains of the day.

          A simple and calming activity, creative and colourful, meditative and restful. Whilst stitching you will find you can’t rush and you have to slow down and focus on the task. You can loose yourself in the process. But it is also productive with a positive outcome – your own finished work of art you can see  growing every day, then frame and display.

          Image - 'A year in stitches' August design (available now in the shop)

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            What exactly is cross stitch?

            In the simplest terms it is making two stitches in a cross shape on material with ready made holes. Cross stitch is a relaxing and mindful, precise and methodical craft that is suitable for all ages and abilities. It is a meditative process for people who need to be busy.

            It is however important to find the right pattern, there are thousands to choose from but at Latch Farm Studios we have patterns which are specially designed for mindfulness. All the stitches in these designs are very simple and straightforward making it an ideal beginners project. There are no frustrations with complex patterns or instructions. They are easy to complete with minimal stitch counting and let you pace yourself with attainable daily targets that can be incorportated with Mood Tracking techniques.  

            A special feature of our cross stitch projects is that they allow you to choose your own colours scheme to stitch with. There are included design sheets or mood tracking sheets that enable you to decide which colours you want to use. This craft is also completely portable, create in the garden or by the fire, on the bus or train, in fact take your project almost anywhere – we don’t advise getting it wet though :) Pick it up and put it down at any time, watch it grow day by day into a modern work of art and once you complete it, frame it in an A4 frame and proudly display it as wall art in your own gallery. Then start a new project :)

            Find out more about the 'A year in stitches' project (available in the shop) by following these links and join in at any time. 

            Find out more about the Mood Tracker cross stitch patterns

            Mindful cross stitch patterns for beginners
            Pick 6 colours......

            Discover more cross stitch patterns