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Your Better Mental Wellbeing Podcast
Every Friday, GP and mental wellbeing expert Dr Neera Dholakia, and software developer and neuroscience researcher Soen Trueman, will help you discover how you can manage stress and build resilience through discussion and practical exercises, so that you can live a healthy, productive and meaningful life.
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Episode 7: Impactful 10: Being Present and Becoming Mindful

Live today. Enjoy the ups, and accept the downs. Focus on your experiences in the here and now and you will cope better with the past and the future.

Mindfulness is about paying attention in the present moment, with acceptance and without judgement. So join Dr Neera Dholakia, who will be guiding you through a short mindfulness exercise in this Episode 7 Impactful 10: Being Present and Becoming Mindful.

Your Better Mental Wellbeing is a weekly podcast helping you to manage stress and build resilience with easy evidence-based tools.

We're your hosts, Neera and Soen.

Dr Neera Dholakia is a GP for Boots Online Doctor and the NHS. She is an expert in mental wellbeing and has extensive experience designing mental health services whilst working for NHS England, Healthy London Partnership and mental health trusts. As well as promoting self-care, she also works to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Soen Trueman is a full stack developer with Boots Online Doctor, specialising in graphics design, user experience, and user behaviour. Soen’s interests in behavioural analysis extends to psychology and further to neuroscience, which he is currently studying at Harvard University.

This week's tools:

[00:46] Understanding Mindfulness and its benefits

[01:51] Leaves on a stream mindfulness exercise

[06:45] Returning to reality

Join us next week when we look at how a happy gut creates a healthy mind.

Find our more:

For transcripts visit our website: https://yourbettermentalwellbeing.show

For great health, lifestyle and wellbeing information visit: https://onlinedoctor.boots.com

The information in this podcast is not intended to replace your own GP or other doctor’s professional medical advice.

00:00/07:30
Read Full Episode Transcript
Neera

Live today. Enjoy the ups and accept the downs. Focus on your experiences in the here and now and you will cope better with the past and the future. Hello and a very warm welcome to you to this Impactful 10 episode of Your Better Mental Wellbeing. Today is about being present and becoming mindful to help manage your stress and improve your resilience.

I'm Dr. Neera Dholakia. I'm a GP for Boots Online Doctor and the NHS, and my expertise is in mental health and wellbeing. I'm really pleased to be guiding you through this practical session today. I'll be taking you through a short mindfulness exercise, so find somewhere comfortable to be for a few minutes.

Being mindful is about being aware and noticing what is happening in the here and now, with acceptance and without judgement. It enables you to be more flexible in the way you respond to your thoughts. You become more open and willing to accept the things you feel. You become more aware of yourself. And you can bring yourself back into the present moment, when your thoughts are running away with you.

And by focusing on the present, connecting with your surroundings and being fully aware of what you're actually doing. You can learn from your behaviour and adapt your actions. This will make you more resilient and able to cope with stressful events. You can practice mindfulness for some relief from a stressful event, or you can use it in a preventative way to support how you deal with life in general.

The future doesn't exist yet, and the past has already happened. So let's begin where we can take action, in the here and now.

Get yourself comfortable and let your eyes gently close or fix them on a point in front of you.

Take a couple of gentle breaths in and out. Notice how it feels as you breathe in and as you breathe out.

Now, I'd like you to imagine that you're standing by the bank of a gently flowing stream, watching the water flow.

Imagine feeling the ground beneath you,, the sounds of the water flowing past, and the way the stream looks as you watch it.

Imagine that there are leaves from trees floating past on the stream, and you're just watching these float by.

Start to become aware of your thoughts.

Each time you notice a thought, take this thought, and place it on a leaf and watch it float by. Do this with any thought, positive thoughts, painful thoughts, or neutral thoughts. Place those thoughts on a leaf and watch them float by.

Even if you have pleasurable or joyous thoughts, place them on a leaf and watch them float by.

If your thoughts stop momentarily, just watch the stream. Sooner or later your thoughts will start up again.

Allow the stream to flow at its own pace. You're not trying to rush those thoughts along, or get rid of your thoughts. You're allowing them to come and go at their own pace.

You're just observing your experience, and placing each thought on a leaf.

If your mind says, 'I'm bored', or 'this is silly', or 'I'm not doing this right', that's okay. Just place those thoughts on leaves too, and let them pass.

If a leaf gets stuck or won't go away, that's okay. Let it hang around. Just observing it until it's ready to float away.

If that thought comes up again, watch it float by another time.

If a difficult or painful feeling arises, simply acknowledge it and say to yourself, I notice myself having a feeling of boredom. I notice myself having a feeling of impatience or frustration. Place those thoughts on leaves and watch them float along.

From time to time your thoughts may hook you and distract you from being fully present. This is normal. As soon as you realise that you've become sidetracked, gently bring your attention back to watching the stream.

Keep watching those leaves float by.

Now, slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings.

Notice what you can hear and notice what you can see.

Have a little stretch. Welcome back.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Your Better Mental Wellbeing, Impactful 10. Join us next Friday for episode 8, Happy Gut, Healthy Mind. And remember to live your values, accept yourself and let go.

About This Podcast
Your Hosts
Dr Neera Dholakia
Dr Neera is a GP and Clinical Lead for our Depression and Anxiety service. A safeguarding and mental health expert, she helps ensure services are both efficient and safe. As well as promoting self-care, she works to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Soen Trueman
Soen is a full stack developer with Boots Online Doctor, specialising in graphics design, user experience, and user behaviour. Soen’s interests in behavioural analysis extends to psychology and further to neuroscience, which he is currently studying at Harvard University.
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The information in this podcast is not intended to replace your own GP or other doctor's professional medical advice.
Music credits: Main theme by AudioCoffee, Impactful 10 by Dream-Protocol, Jingle by Serge Quadrado Music