What is it? How does it help? How can I do it?
What is it?
Mindfulness is to bring awareness of the present moment. It is human ability available to us all, but with practice it can come easier. Mindfulness is the moment between the event and the reaction. Whenever you bring awareness to your senses, emotions, state of mind, this is mindfulness.
How can it help?
Practicing mindfulness helps to become aware of your reaction to situations and consequently make a choice on how we will deal with this stressful moment. Therefore, it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness actually changes the physical structure of the brain too (for the better!)
How can I do it?
One size does NOT fit all and luckily for us there are many different ways to practice mindfulness.
A good start is bringing awareness to our breathing. Once aware, we can consciously breathe into our belly (diaphragmatic breathing). This is particular good to help ease anxiety.
For example: When the phone rings or you hear that whatsaap notification. Pause, take 5 breaths and be aware of what you are about to do instead of rushing into it.
A Body Scan is great at any time, and I love this at bed time or at the end of yoga. You can do this guided via YouTube or on your own. Start by lying down in a neutral position using blankets and pillows as you desire. Take a few grounding breaths then bring awareness to your toes and notice any feelings you may find. Then move up the body to the calves, knees, thighs and so on, all the way to the head. If you find areas of tension or pain, you can stay with this and breath, sending love and healing to this area and then move on. If you haven't done it before, a guided body scan may be a good way to start.
Mindful Tasks. Chose an activity that you perform most days, such as brushing your teeth or washing the dishes. Then bring awareness to every part of that process. From the feeling of the object in your hands, to the sound the task creates. You could start with using the sense as a checklist. How does this feel? How does this sound? How does this smell? How does the taste? What can I see?
If you are already practicing such mindfulness, you could go even further. Where did the plastic from my toothbrush get produced, how many people were involved in the design and fabrication to the shipment and advertising. What will happen to this toothbrush once I am finished with it?
There are endless ways to become mindful and once the journey begins, you could become curious about other ways. It will also come naturally as you start to notice the sound of the birds singing...
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, feel free to contact me. I can guide you further or send some resources your way...