For those who didn’t see it this year, Bear Grylls, the infamous explorer and eater of disgusting things, dropped 16 people on another island in the middle of nowhere and left them to see if they could survive, or thrive. They had no tools with them, one set of clothes, no food, no water – Nothing.
Similarly, Ed Stafford in an explorer who was the first man to walk the length of the Amazon rainforest alone. Now he finds his kicks by jumping out of helicopters in the middle of the nowhere. He takes a pair of shorts with him and nothing else, yet somehow gets through it by finding washed up water bottles and old bits of rope. He then makes TV programmes about it and tells us we all have the power to do the same.
Sounds far-fetched, but they’re absolutely right.
One thing they both have in common is an extremely powerful, strong mind. Given the extreme situations they find themselves in, they can both stay positive and teach others how to survive. How do they do that? It can’t be just for the cameras as they’ve both been successful explorers before they found fame on TV. So, how is it done?
You’ll notice that they will both always focus on the good things, the positives, and being grateful for what they DO have, not what they don’t. Being aware of what you have around you, the noises, the scenery – taking it all in and being appreciative of it. In essence, that is what mindfulness is all about. Whilst it is something you need to learn and adapt to, as Bear and Ed would have done, you can clearly see the resilience they hold in coping with situations most people would find incomprehensible! I think I’m quite well practiced at meditation, but even I can’t imagine staying positive being sat under a tropical storm with no food and scorpions out to get me.
In both programmes they talk about meditation as a way of coping with loneliness, self doubt, and to keep you calm, relaxed, and thinking correctly. I’m not suggesting for anyone to parachute into the Sahara Desert and hope that meditation keeps you alive, but for both Bear and Ed, it’s evidently helped them a great deal throughout their careers. On that basis, why not learn from the best and take a leaf out of their books?
For the people who still aren’t convinced on the idea, meditation is not just the practice of sitting cross legged on the floor saying ‘omm’ over and over again – that is just the Hollywod version of it. It is a method to learn to control your attention and manage the way your self-talk (all those worrying thoughts zooming about in your head all the time) affect you. If you’re still not open to trying it, there are other ways to be mindful, such as deep muscle relaxation, which has a closer link to the physical and mental relaxation state. These techniques are available in our app, Feel Stress Free, and can be taken with you wherever you go on your travels. By training our minds in the same way we’d train our bodies for physical activities, we can become more mindful and more resilient to every day stress and anxiety with ease.
To take a look and try some of the techniques yourself, visit www.feelstressfree.com on your smartphone or tablet to be redirected to the app download page.