Coronavirus is affecting us all, and so we want to remind you that City Psychology Group (CPG) is here, as always, to support your mental health and wellbeing.

 All of our clinicians are now providing therapy sessions via video call or telephone, enabling us to provide you with the same high-quality care as usual.

 Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in receiving support from CPG, whether for you or for someone else, or just want to find out more.

 

 Wishing you the best of health.

City Psychology Group

Friday 22 March 2019

De-stress your commute

news-people-walking

When you are travelling to or from work on the tube it may well be that your most common experience whilst you are pressed up against that not-so-fresh armpit, with someone’s bag lodged in an inconvenient part of your anatomy, that you are simply wishing to be anywhere but where you are in that moment.

Even in conditions such as this though there is some interesting research that shows that even during negative experiences when we distract or daydream ourselves away we are actually less happy then if we are present to the ‘here and now’.

Mindfulness – an ancient technique for intentionally training ourselves to become more aware and observant of the present – can actually help us to literally re-wire our distracted brains to improve our attention and increase our happiness and well-being.

Mindfulness requires no special tools, abilities, spiritual virtues or self-denial, what it does require however, is lots of practice, patience, care and curiosity. Whilst there is plenty of research to substantiate that mindfulness really does help you to de-stress, the best test is to try it out for yourself. The following 5 exercises can be used on the tube as you commute at the start or end your working day as a way of developing some peace in amongst all the chaos.

1. Just one breath

– Just begin by noticing the body and any contact you have with the floor or ground. Find the sense of weight in the body, through the feet or pelvis especially, and allow yourself to use this to anchor yourself in present-moment awareness. Let yourself ‘settle’ in the body sensations of just this one moment.
– Now become aware of the sensations of breathing, in the mouth, the nose, the shoulders, ribs and belly.
– Focus on the breath at the tip of the nose and follow just one breath.
– Watch this breath enter the body and follow the sensations as your body receives air and oxygen
– As you release the breath, feel the natural sense of letting go and relaxation that comes with breathing out.

 

2. Train-ing the body and mind

– Like the previous exercise, use your body, especially any contact to the floor or seat (if you are one of the lucky few to get one) to centre your awareness. Notice the sensations of your feet on the floor, or of your rear-end on the seat. Be conscious of any pressure, temperature, tension, softness, absence of sensation, etc. Just observe this, as it is.
– Now become aware of how your body is being moved by the motion of the carriage or people around you. Notice the strong sensations as well as the more subtle ones, see how these are constantly changing.
– Notice how you are reacting and responding to the movement of your body. Are you aware of any thoughts? They could be something like ‘I wish that s*d would move his arm’, ‘I am so hot and uncomfortable’, ‘How much longer?’… or of course a multitude of other thoughts. See if you can just observe these coming and going, the strong and the subtle, without engaging with them.
– Notice also any emotions that may be arising in relation to the movement and sensations of your body. You might notice frustration, calmness, boredom …or anything else – any emotion is fine, just observe it, strong or subtle – no need to create any stories around it.
– If you find yourself compelled into thoughts, story-telling, daydreaming or other forms of distraction from the present then notice this and applaud yourself for catching this and then train your mind gently back to the sensations in the body that are present right now.

3. A sip of coffee

– Take hold of your coffee (or tea, juice, or other beverage). Feel the weight of the cup, can or bottle in your hand. Notice the sensations in your palm, fingers and on the back of your hand.
– Raise the drink to your lips with as much attention as you can bring to this action, feeling the sensations of muscles contracting, the movement of clothing or air on your skin and the anticipation as you put the drink to your lips.
– Take a slow sip, allowing yourself to savour the taste of your drink. Let it sit inside your mouth for a little bit so that you can notice the temperature, taste, thoughts and any feelings that are also present.
– Swallow the drink and see if you can feel it travelling on its way downwards.

4. Just a Moment

– Find your feet and your contact with the floor.
– Take just one breath and follow this in and out.
– Be aware of any thoughts swirling about in your mind.
– Notice any urges to ‘do’ something (e.g.: move, play with your phone, etc.).
– Tell yourself ‘ I have time for this breath/this body sensation/feeling just for one moment, I can allow this to be as it is.’

5. Phone it in

– If you have noticed that you are holding your phone, just notice this
– Feel the weight, textures and position of the phone as it sits in your hand.
– Notice the light, reflections and colours of the phone
– Be aware of any urges to fiddle, text or play with your phone.
– See if you can just sit with these and breathe for a moment as you watch these urges, thoughts and sensations arise and pass again.

Working with Mindfulness by Dr Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel is out now, published by Pearson, priced £13.99

Read all our News and Articles

IMG_1630

12 June 2020

How To Practice Mindfulness When You Have No Time

Even if you have heard about mindfulness before you may still wonder what it is and exactly how it can benefit you.

Read More >

IMG_3884

8 June 2020

Growth During Covid-19

We have all been hit by the same pandemic, though our Covid-19 journey can vary significantly based on our living circumstances, social support, financial stability, mental and physical health, what country we are in, whether we have children, and whether we are dealing with other life challenges, amongst other factors.

Read More >

IMG_0158

1 June 2020

A Guide to Self-Care for Practitioners in Times of Uncertainty

eBook about self-care for therapists in these uncertain times. 

Read More >

IMG_4851

20 May 2020

In Aid of Mental Health Awareness Week: How to Access Free and Private Health Therapy During Lockdown

INDEPENDENT Article: Whether you're already in therapy or considering seeking help for the first time, these are the steps you can take

Read More >

IMG_5768

1 May 2020

Moving Away from Shaming during Covid-19

Moving Away from Shaming during Covid-19

Read More >

IMG_6257

16 April 2020

Healthy Eating Habits During Lockdown

INDEPENDENT Article: In times like these, managing our food and exercise habits can be a challenge

Read More >

IMG_5787

15 April 2020

Coronavirus tips: How to curb your anxiety about Covid-19 virus according to psychologists

INDEPENDENT Article: As the number of confirmed cases in the UK rises, Sophie Gallagher speaks to experts about how to avoid unnecessary panic and anxiety 

Read More >

IMG_2504

14 April 2020

How To Beat The Post-Easter Bank Holiday Blues Under Lock-Down

INDEPENDENT Article: What can we do to stay motivated now it feels as though there’s nothing to look forward to?

Read More >

IMG_5566

27 March 2020

Taking a moment to reflect

Approaching Coronavirus with Compassion 

Read More >

book-cover

15 May 2019

A moment of mindfulness

An exercise rom the second edition of the bestselling Mindfulness for Busy People

Read More >

news-people-walking

22 March 2019

De-stress your commute

Learn the top five ways to de-stress your commute. Train your mind on the tube: five exercises to completely de-stress on your commute

Read More >

news-media

5 February 2019

CPG in the media

Recent contributions to the media

Read More >

news-walking

29 January 2019

Oh do behave!

How to behave your way to the life you want with acceptance and committed action

Read More >

news-fear

18 November 2015

Anxiety: the office fear factor

Dr Michael Sinclair talks to the Financial Times about anxiety in the workplace

Read More >

news-talking

12 October 2015

Are you a deputy parent?

Why successful career women need a partner who's the boss at home

Read More >

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

Here are just some of the media channels on which City Psychology Group has featured 

  

 

Design WEB