When we practie mindfulness we focus on being aware of what’s happening in the present moment – the here and now.
But there are times when a wandering mind can have its benefits.
Not when our mind is dwelling on something negative from the past, or running a fear of the future narrative.
But when we use our minds in a positive way – or what’s called positive constructive daydreaming (PCD).
The key here is something positive.
In meditation, this is most closley related to a technique called visualisation which is – if you like – a sort of focused daydreaming.
This type of meditation can be very useful if you are feeling overwhelmed by your current situation.
The idea is to focus on something that makes you happy.
Maybe a place that you love, your ‘happy place’.
A beach, watching the sunset, a forest walk, your garden or local park.
Or it might be something you create from scratch in your imagination – a beautiful garden filled with the flowers that you love the most.
Through this visualisation you can almost see and feel yourself in this place.
You can see, hear and feel it.
You might even be able to smell certain fragrances.
The Very Well Mind website lists five positive things about daydreaming, including that it can lessen stress and anxiety, and boost your creativity.
Both daydreaming and visualisation tap into the power of the mind, or that notion of ‘mind over matter’.
But whereas daydreaming can be less controlled and suddenly change into negative thoughts, with a mindfulful visualisation – where you concentrate on your senses – you can stay focused for longer.
Try this simple visualisation for yourself.
Take a few deep breaths, and if you feel happy to do so close your eyes.
Follow your breath for a few moments.
Feel the movement and sensation of it as it moves in and out of your body.
Slowly start to picture yourself on a beautiful beach (one you know well, or maybe a beach you create in your mind).
Notice the waves of the sea gently rolling in and out.
Then notice your breath gently rolling in and out.
Observe how the two move in a similar way.
Gently in, and gently out.
Stay with this for as long as you need and notice how calming it is.
The more you can picture yourself here, using your senses – what you can see, hear, feel and smell, the more it can calm that sense of overwhelm.
So next time you find your mind wandering, don’t beat yourself up about it, try to tap into the positive constructive side of it.
Stay focused and use your breath.
Suddenly, you are meditating 🙏