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 four 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 through my mindful practice to enjoy living in the moment and for the present which I feel is the route to inner happiness and contentment.
You can find out more about mindfulness on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
and Mind’s website: