My experience of using mindfulness as a useful tool for life with inherited sight loss
Posted on: Wednesday 3 October 2018
Living life with a visual impairment can be hugely challenging in all sorts of different ways. I have sought support from a variety of counsellors over the years in my quest to come to terms with my sight loss and find ways to overcome the obstacles I face. About three years ago I started working with a holistic counsellor and began exploring mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a real buzzword at the moment, and has its roots in the Buddhist tradition and meditation. It is designed to help us focus on the present moment by encouraging us to concentrate on our breathing and physical presence. Research into its benefits is ongoing, but it has already been shown to be beneficial in some cases of depression and anxiety.
Personally, I have found mindfulness hugely beneficial. Living with a progressive sight loss condition makes it easy to become overwhelmed by fears about the future. This was regularly my own experience, and prevented me from enjoying the present moment – I was missing out on life whilst worrying about what was going to happen in the coming months and years. Working with my holistic counsellor, and practicing regularly myself, I found that by concentrating on my breath and noticing what was happening within body I was able to centre myself in the here and now.
I am now able to avoid projecting too much into the future, and concentrate on what I can achieve in the present. I continue to produce sculptures for private commissions and exhibitions, and my role as an ambassador for RP Fighting Blindness gives me the opportunity to speak publicly about living a full life with sight loss.
You can find out more about mindfulness on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/ and Mind’s website: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/mindfulness/
RP Fighting Blindness Ambassador