Mindfulness tips for deaf / hard of hearing people starting meditation… 

Spring is literally just round the corner and it’s probably the best time of the year to start or review a  new resolution. It’s the season to spring clean, start afresh, turn over a new leaf. You get the idea. 

One of my New Years resolutions was to maintain a Mindful practice in my life. Amidst the school runs, work deadlines and family duties, I wanted to find time to just be. 

I’m at an advantage because I’ve been on formal Mindfulness training but I’m aware that for a deaf person, starting a mindfulness journey isn’t as straightforward as if you were hearing… 

A friend of mine (hearing) was recently diagnosed with stress related anxiety and her doctor gave her access to free apps she could listen to for guided meditations that soothe, calm and re-centre the mind from its usual frantic thoughts. 

That’s great for her and the hearing population but if you’re deaf and you want to improve you mental wellbeing from the comfort of your home, what can you do that doesn’t rely on audio? 

In actual truth, not an awful lot. But there are some worthy resources out there. The following are my personal recommendations…

  1. Join an online community such as Trudi’s Mindfulness for the Deaf Community. Trudi is a trained counsellor, also deaf, and a worthy contact to have on your Facebook. It’s also a great place to ask questions and meet like minded folk on the same wellbeing pathway. https://m.facebook.com/trudimindfulness/?locale2=en_GB
  2. Check out the closed caption videos by the leaders of mindfulness teaching such as Jon Kabat-Zinn. Jon is highly valued in the field of mindfulness and a very wise and inspirational speaker.https://youtu.be/7kblkFJmriM
  3. For BSL users I highly recommend watching and following the videos uploaded by Ben Fletcher.  Clear and concise, these will give you a head start to a regular meditation practice. https://youtu.be/mrvTqSCidnw   
  4. Check out the national be mindful website for details of practitioners and courses. They do have online courses and some practitioners offer email / Skype consultation. This does vary according to location – find out what’s near you. https://bemindful.co.uk/
  5. YouTube does have quite a few guided meditation videos with text. You may have to try a few to find one that resonates with you but https://youtu.be/6p_yaNFSYao is a good starting point. 
  6. Read about it. I highly recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle for its in depth writing on the benefits of becoming more present. I can also vouch for Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn which is written in a relaxed style which allows you to dip in and out as it please. If you’re a bookworm you’re in luck as there’s Mindful books abound! 
  7. Join everyday mindfulness, a free website for people of all backgrounds and meditative levels where you can share information, ask tips and get advice from other like minded individuals. It is a mainstream site and heavily text based but a useful resource nonetheless. https://www.everyday-mindfulness.org/
  8. For movement based Mindfulness, Yoga is an excellent tool. There is BSL Yoga based in York which does travel for retreats and weekend workshops. There is also Sarah Scott who teaches yoga in London and Surrey using sign language too. https://m.facebook.com/bslyogayork/  https://www.deafyoga-co-uk.com/
  9. Check out Sign Health’a guide to Mindfulness. It has BSL videos that I filmed covering the concepts of being mindful and a short exercise to try at home. https://www.signhealth.org.uk/how-to-be-mindful-a-guide-in-sign-language/
  10. Breathe. Mindfulness isn’t complicated and can be practised anywhere. This isn’t really a resource but by simply sitting for 3 minutes every day and just watching the breath (feeling the sensation of breathing in & out but not trying to change it) we can begin a personal mindful practice that doesn’t rely on anyone else to guide us. 

If you know of any other resources please do share. Wishing you a mindful March! 

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