A health psychologist who moved from his home in Ireland to London a few years ago was able to overcome serious homesickness and loneliness thanks to UK mindfulness courses.

In an article for the Irish Times, Darragh O’Shea observed that he was well aware that isolation and loneliness could have a very real impact on people’s health and wellbeing, but he wasn’t sure of how to tackle his own feelings in this respect.

He came to realise that he’d been burying his feelings in his work to avoid dealing with them and it wasn’t until he looked into mindfulness meditation that he started to notice positive changes within.

“Over the past year I have committed to daily mindfulness practice. As a result I have gradually developed an awareness of self-critical thoughts and unhelpful comparisons. Increasingly, but not always, I approach these with kindness rather than avoidance,” he wrote, adding that he now looks at mindfulness as an attitude that pervades all aspects of his life, making himself feel healthier and happier as a result.

Practicing mindfulness needn’t be difficult or scary – you simply have to start. Begin by doing some breathing exercises, focusing on your breath as you breathe in and out slowly, holding it while you count to six. Breathe out slowly and make sure that if your mind wanders (as it naturally will) that you bring it back to concentrating on the sounds and sensations of your breath.

Check out our blog post on other mindfulness techniques to try out today.