Blog, Climate Change, Fibromyalgia

Hot summer heat…What does it mean for our future?

earth desert dry hot
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Our carbon footprint and the damage we are causing to the environment has been publicised widely this year.

This summer has been difficult for me to live through with wildly fluctuating temperatures, here in the UK. (If you don’t follow me, I have fibromyalgia.)

It’s been so hot in the UK this week; temperatures have been up to 32C. I have no air conditioning. Back in July it reached 37C.

Me and my computer 💻  are completely frazzled.  I’ve decided to have a break and try again next week.

In the meantime….

I have some questions for you to think about.

Why is it hotter in the UK this year than I can remember in my lifetime?

Why have all records for heat been broken this year in Paris, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands?

I don’t think you have to look far to reach a conclusion to these questions:

I found a comprehensive answer on the Greenpeace website.

“It’s the use of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas– that’s the main problem. Burning them has released carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which were locked deep within the Earth. Because of this, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has rocketed. It’s now at levels not seen in millions of years, before humans even existed. Carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun and as a result our planet is now warming fast. 

The UK’s top ten warmest years have occurred since 2002, and this trend is set to continue.”

planet earth close up photo
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Climate change is happening now 

It’s a crisis facing the whole world

For us and future generations

We can do something now

By making changes to how we live

climate cold glacier iceberg
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What can we do to help reduce our carbon emissions?

Have a look at this UN Carbon Footprint calculator.

What have I done?

I drive a hybrid car.

I’ve changed my energy tariff for a green energy deal.

I’ve stopped using plastic bottles for my water drinks and use a recyclable bottle.

I leave you with this question to think about….

What could you do to change your carbon footprint?

For more ideas have a look at the following links:

Friends of the Earth UK

Greenpeace UK

Blog, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Meditation, Mindfulness, Uncategorised

Revisiting Mindfulness

aquatic bloom blooming blossom
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I’ve neglected my meditation practice recently; getting back into it proved straight away how helpful it is.

If you have never tried mindfulness or meditation join me now and find out how it can help you and perhaps try it out.

In a previous post I mentioned that mindful meditation has been proven to help the symptoms of fibromyalgia and also help to calm a active mind. I was intrigued to explore this in more detail. 

How can mindfulness be described?

In a nutshell, it’s focusing our attention purely on the present moment. Doing this without letting the mind drift back to past memories or thinking about future events. Mindfulness is embracing the present with acceptance, without judgment.

The monkey mind 🐒

There are so many distractions for us to focus our mind on. To illustrate the monkey mind, try this exercise for a couple of minutes.

Focus your mind on your breathing.  Think about where you can feel movement in your chest from your breathing.  Concentrate on this area, for a few minutes. You will notice your thoughts stray, thinking about numerous things other than the breath.

These thoughts are from past or future experiences. The mind is rarely focused on the present. It jumps from one subject to another, like a monkey playing. This practice is called the monkey mind.

Why should I try mindfulness?

Clinical researchers have carried out a number of tests which have shown that mindfulness can improve your overall health and wellbeing. For fibromyalgia sufferers the benefits can be:

  • lower stress levels 
  • lower depression
  • improve the quality of sleep 
  • reduce anxiety 
  • encourage positive thinking
  • alter the way the mind reacts to difficult situations 
  • improve decision making 

How do I start to practice mindfulness?

Start by focusing on your senses when you carry out your everyday routine. By thinking about the feel, touch, smell and the sound of everything you are experiencing. 

If you carry out a task such as washing the dishes, think about the heat of the water, the texture and feel of the plates, the scent of washing up liquid and the sound of water filling up the bowl. 

If you have a regular daily routine build some time into it every day to practice mindfulness.

You could try changing your daily activities. For example if you regularly go for a walk and always walk the same way; try changing the route to one your not as familiar with. Or try a completely new walk. 

By changing your routine to something different or new it will get your mind to focus on a familiar task in a different or new way.

analysis blackboard board bubble
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Thought watching 

If you find while you are concentrating on tasks thoughts interrupt you. Just observe them, try not to be side tracked by them.

Introduce a label for each thought that arises; ‘I’m nervous about a exam result’, label it ‘thought’, or a feeling ‘I feel worried’ label it ‘emotion’; and go back to the task you are carrying out.

This practice will help train the mind to not follow a thought and get sidetracked by it. Just observe thoughts without judgment, acknowledging them, and labelling them. Going back to the task.

Mindfulness meditation

Taking mindfulness a step further incorporating it into daily meditation practice can encourage the mind to work in a regular pattern.

Mindfulness meditation works by silently spending a few minutes every day thinking about one aspect of the body, such as breathing awareness and acknowledging thoughts, when they arise and bringing back attention to the breathing.

Have a look at my page on Meditation for more information about suggestions for meditation practice.