Archives for June 2014

Are you able to switch off?

Therapy Room 17-11-09 014

Too many of us live frenetic lives, juggling work, family and community obligations till we’re too anxious and exhausted to enjoy any of it. Technology is supposed to cut down the work load but all too often it causes information overload and mental fragmentation. Laptops, telephones and ipads are almost continually on as we try to keep connected with our friends and colleagues wherever they, or we, happen to be in the world. We are here, there and everywhere.

Actually, we’re nowhere at all. Multi-tasking has become a buzz word but is it a helpful one? Nowadays, we working on the computer, at the same time as answering the phone, at the same time as thinking of what we have to do tomorrow, at the same time as etc. etc. We scan rather than read books, we make do with texts to check that our friends are okay, and we stuff pre-prepared food into our mouths while on the run. We’re never where we actually are. Instead, we’re always one step ahead in the future and because we cannot cope, our emotions stay stuck in the past.

This is human doing gone mad and neither our minds nor our bodies can take the pace. Already the cracks are beginning to show. Blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart problems are on the rise as our bodies fail to keep up with the relentless pressure we put ourselves under. There is no doubt that we are living in a tremendously exciting world but we have to find ways to relax if we are to stay healthy enough to enjoy it. In short, we need to become human beings again and rediscover the present.

Mindfulness creates new, positive neural pathways in the brain, training us to handle stress so that we can more easily detach from it and switch off. Unlike some other forms of meditation, mindfulness involves doing and is therefore easier for Westerners to grasp. It does not matter what you are doing – simply that you are doing it with 100% attention. You can be mindful doing the washing-up or loading the dishwasher. You can be mindful walking up the stairs or cleaning your teeth. It is doing one thing at a time, doing it with all of your mind and being present.

So when you take your holiday, try doing what you are doing fully, and actually being where you are. You will find yourself slowing down. Your focus and concentration will improve, you will feel calmer and more peaceful and you will actually enjoy yourself. When you return home, keep the mindfulness going for your work. You’ll be more efficient, productive and far less stressed. Oh, and leave your gadgets behind. If you have to take them, have them on for the minimum possible time and then switch them off.

Wishing you a happy, restorative, relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

Love Laurelle

I run a monthly mindfulness class in Oxfordshire. I am also a sound healer, vocal coach and writer and run confidence workshops. For more details, look on my website:, phone me on 07964 161527 or email me on