Recently, we created an online community across Instagram and Twitter to encourage others to engage with both photography and mindfulness to make attempts at improving their overall mental health and wellbeing.
Ill mental health can be debilitating and have a tremendous impact on a persons’ quality of life. Even to the point where breathing hurts and the thought of leaving the confines of the prison-like walls of your home is a hard enough task. One of the outlets that are recommended to ease the difficulty is to practice mindfulness. This term is used frequently but what does Mindfulness really entail?
Mindfulness, by definition, is a technique that requires maintaining awareness of your thoughts, moment by moment. The aim of it is to keep your full attention on the things that are happening in the present moment. The use of your senses is a vital tool when practicing this technique. By keeping yourself in the present, you need to have an awareness of what you can see, hear, smell, touch or even taste in the environment you’re in.
The key word here being present. Something of which anyone subject to PTSD or C-PTSD will find themselves struggling as the condition drags you back into the past. It is also something that has been proved to be of benefit to anyone suffering from physical pain, anxiety, depression, stress, exhaustion. Anytime that much needed time out is required, it is a technique that can be used. It certainly isn’t something that requires anyone to feel ashamed of using, nor is it only designed to be used for if and when you’re struggling with your mental health.
So why have we combined the use of Mindfulness with Photography you ask? A recent study has shown that creative individuals are more likely to have some form of difficulty with their mental health at some stage in their life. The main reason is still unknown, it could just be that if your suffering from ill mental health, you’re more drawn to a creative outlet than someone who is not. Or it could be that creatives face more social isolation than a non-creative as a result of the way society chooses to work in today’s age. It just made a lot of sense combing a creative outlet with a technique that is known to help. Through our own experiences, we found taking ourselves out on a walk to practice mindfulness left our hands craving the need to do something productive. Seen as these days the majority of people have easy access to the camera on their phones, it is a useful way of having that ability to be creative and keep your hands busy, all whilst practicing Mindfulness.
You can get involved with and follow A Mind Full of Photo walks on both Twitter and Instagram.
A Mind Full of Photo Walks (Instagram)
Mindful Photo (Twitter)