Robin Hills (Director, Ei4Change) has been asked to contribute a series of bite-sized, inspirational soundbites for Bolton FM.
Featured every day for a week as The Thought that Counts, these were broadcast on the Breakfast Show around 7.20 am and on the Lunchtime Show usually around 12.20 pm.
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Bolton FM is my local radio station and I often contribute to their "The Thought That Counts" slot. This is usually broadcast on the Breakfast Show at about 7.30 and the Lunchtime Show at about 1.30 over a period of a week. Each broadcast lasts about 90 seconds. My contributions are all based around some aspect of emotional intelligence. I've put my contributions together as hints and tips in this podcast. On this occasion, my reflections cover: Mindfulness in Schools, When to Practice Mindfulness, Little Things in Life, The Importance of Self-care. The Awe in the Present. I hope you enjoy the podcast and these The Thought That Counts. The Thought That Counts. It's heartening to learn in 370 schools across England children will be taught how to meditate to use techniques for muscle relaxation, and get involved in breathing exercises for mindfulness. The programme is being conducted under a mental health study that the British government is running up until 2021. When children behave by kicking and screaming, very often, it's simply because they don't understand what they're going through and can't find a better way to express their feelings. When they have a tantrum, it's most likely because they're struggling to deal with the new and complex emotions that they're feeling for the first time in their lives. As human beings, we're hardwired to be emotional beings. Emotions and mental health are areas that need focused attention, and this can be achieved through mindfulness leading to change at very basic levels of mind, brain and body. Consider the impact of becoming more self aware, mindful and empathetic, to manage anger and disappointment, and to go out in life coexisting with fellow human beings in meaningful ways. As our children experience mindfulness at school through this programme, just think what kind of functional adults they will become, and how harmonious society will be. The Thought That Counts. By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice. We don't have to follow the same old thinking patterns that may have caused problems in the past. We can increase our awareness so that we can respond to situations with choice rather than reacting automatically. We can do that by practising to become more aware of where our attention is, and deliberately changing the focus of attention, over and over again, increasing our awareness in the present moment bringing mindfulness to each activity. People often tell me that they're too busy to practice mindfulness. There are many opportunities that present themselves throughout the day you just need to recognise them. When you wake up first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths. Focus your attention on daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, washing up, brushing your hair, putting on your shoes, doing your job, whenever you wait in a queue, or at a set of traffic lights. Before you check your phone, use this time to notice your breathing and how your body feels. Are you feeling impatient? Before you go to sleep at night, take a few minutes and bring your attention to your breathing. Observe five mindful breaths. Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need To remember to do it. The Thought That Counts. There are many little things that are part of what we use on a daily basis that are there to make our lives easier. Often we don't notice them or we're just not aware of them. Most of us have noticed that the removable caps on pens have a tiny little hole in them at the top. The reason is very simple. If someone accidentally swallows it it will allow air to pass through preventing asphixation. Now you might have noticed that several of your cups have little grooves on the bottom. The reason is to make them easiest to dry. If there were no indentations water would pool when they're placed upside down after washing them to dry. However, that's not their only purpose. They also allow the air at room temperatures to flow below your cup so that when you place a hot drink in it doesn't break. After all these years of using a computer, many people are not aware of tiny ridges at the lower end of two keyboard keys - usually the F and J keys. These ridges are there to help people who touch type to remember where to place their fingers first. if you spend a lot of time at the computer, your brain has probably learned the placement of the letters without having to see them. They're not much used to me, as I still type with one finger! Let's become more aware of the little things in life that can be very important and can make life easier. It's very easy to overlook them and we sometimes underestimate the influence of these little things. So, let's find magic in all the little things in life. The Thought That Counts. In today's turbulent world of political turmoil and climate change, we can often feel powerless to do anything that can make a difference. However, there is something that we can all do. It's about being at one and meeting our own emotional and physical needs first. A better world starts with you, being the best version of you that you can be. Looking after yourself is not a virtue. It's the means by which you make what you do consistent with what you want to create in this world. Self-care can lead to a better world. It's about taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Self-care increases our emotional and physical health. It builds resilience and paves the way for kind, compassionate engagement with the world around us. There are small actions we can take that help us restore balance in our lives, and that brings us joy and happiness. It can be spending an evening reading a good book, not responding to texts or emails for a few hours, or having a meal with a friend while engaging in meaningful conversation. When we practice self-care, we hone our intentions with everything around us. We protect the world around us. Imagine the powerful transformation that would happen if everyone took care in this way,. We're not perfect human beings, nor do we have to pretend to be, but it's necessary for us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. The Thought That Counts. With the right outlook, wonder, inspiration and awe can be found in almost any environment - even in Bolton! You're more likely to feel this in a new place where the sights and sounds are unfamiliar to you. However, you'll find it in places that have two key features - physical vastness and novelty - no matter where you are. The key is to be in the right frame of mind. Physical vastness and novelty include natural settings, like walking through the malls or visiting a local reservoir, or walking around the town centre that undergoes transformation through the new regeneration plan. Turn an ordinary walk into a series of awe-inspiring moments filled with delightful surprises. Try to approach what you see with fresh eyes, imagining that you're seeing it for the first time. Shift your awareness so that you're open to what's around you to things that are vast, unexpected things that surprise and delight. Let your attention be open to explore that which inspires you. Is it the landscape, the small patterns of light and shadow? Let your attention move from the vast to the small. Notice, really notice, the multitude of sights, sounds, smells and other sensations that are dancing through your awareness and usually go undetected. The present moment is filled with awe and wonder. If you're attentive, you will experience it. I'm Robin Hills from Ei4Change. Empowering your Emotional Management. The Thought That Counts Transcribed by https://otter.ai