Mindfulness

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The process of mindfulness is bringing your attention to the now: the present moment. During this time, you should be an observer of your personal state – your feelings, emotions and thoughts and the effect of those on the world around you. What you don’t want is to allow yourself to hold onto anything that comes up, or judge yourself for it (be that good or bad judgements). 


Be kind to yourself and explore as if you were watching your own internal state of being. Practicing mindfulness is an ‘anytime, anywhere, and with anyone’ kind of state, where you simply show up and be fully engaged in the here and now.


Dropping into the now



Breath work – the easiest way to drop into the present is to bring your attention to your breath. It’s recommended to sit comfortably with your eyes closed and just pay attention to the in and out rhythm. Then, begin to deepen your breath, particularly controlling your exhale. You may try inhaling to a count of four and exhaling to a count of six to eight until you find a rhythm. You can return to this anytime you find your mind wandering off with thoughts or plans like what to do for dinner or the list of chores. 


Yoga – If you talk to a yogi, they should be able to tell you that the practice of yoga centers around breath. The different forms of yoga have a base in moving around the breath. The added challenge in this is not getting caught up in the movements or what you look like doing them; instead, the challenge is to move freely through the poses and stay in rhythm to your breath. 


Journaling – be it bullet journaling or a more traditional diary, the challenge here is to stay focused on the present and to explore that, not to get hooked up on planning or the events of the past or future. An alternative is mindfulness colouring. The importance with each of these is to stay with aware of your personal state in the now. 


Meditation – this has many forms including mindfulness meditation which is similar to the easy technique mentioned above. The key difference is meditation is an intentional practice, where the focus is inward for a specific purpose or intention. For example, this may be to quieten or clear your mind, explore a topic visually in your mind, or bring your emotions into harmony.


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