Mindfulness is a brilliant way to wind down and remind yourself of the little things by bringing everything else into perspective. It is perfect for stress relief and a great positivity boost. It is often used as a therapeutic technique especially for people with anxiety.
I am fairly new to actioning the concept of mindfulness however, I have been thoroughly enjoying what I have done so far.
The dictionary definition of mindfulness is:
A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
And honestly I think that sums it up perfectly however, I do strongly believe that there is no correct way to do it. It varies depending on the person and can be quite difficult for some people.
Personally, I find a fairly quiet place with a comfy space to sit or lie down, I have done it in bed, in the bath, sat in my room. If you are interested in just doing it independently without any guidance, I suggest doing things like this:
- slowly close your eyes
- Focus on your breathing and count the breaths
- When you lose focus or your mind wanders, allow it for a moment and then slowly bring your focus back to breathing
- Focus on certain body parts and how heavy they feel
- Focus on relaxing every part of your body
- Take time to notice noises around you
- Think about the smells around you
- Focus back to breathing
For mindfulness more on the meditative side, some calming music (instrumental preferably) would be a nice touch to add to your experience.
Although that could be an unwanted noise distraction.
If you would prefer to take the route of guided mindfulness, there are a few apps that are brilliant for this.
I highly recommend headspace! It is a brilliant app, completely free which gives 10-30 minute guided mindfulness sessions in which a man will talk you through simple exercises. There are different titles sessions to adhere to a varying range of topics such as productivity, pregnancy, anxiety etc.
You could also buy a CD from somewhere like amazon for guided mindfulness, or listen to some YouTube videos containing similar sessions.
If you have a very busy schedule and sitting down to complete something like this seems like a chore or an unlikely habit you’d get into, there are other options.
For example, I highly recommend a book called “how to be mindful” by Anna Barnes. It is an aesthetically pleasing book full of tips, tricks, quotes and pictures just to remind you of ways of being mindful. One page a day is all it takes to keep the thought in your mind.
Or, you could create an anchor for yourself. Ever heard of “see a door, pelvic floor”? It’s a way to remind yourself to exercise your pelvic muscles regularly. Well you could do something similar with mindfulness, every time you have stressful thought, it starts raining, or even if you see a doorknob..
remind yourself to focus on one point in your body and channel all of your energy to that one point, focus on your breathing, then allow yourself to continue with your day.
I hope this post helped you or inspired you to make mindfulness something that’s maybe even a little more involved in your everyday life. Hopefully this will dim the feeling of going through the motions or feeling stress ridden.
Have a nice day,